Juvenile Crimes Spike During Spring Break

Nick Lawton
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - There are still many kids and teenagers still staying in the Basin with no school. Midland Police officers told NewsWest 9, that can lead to an increase in juvenile crimes.

They can't be pinpointed or profiled, they're just random acts of criminal mischief committed by many of the Basin's youth when they're out of school on Spring Break and Midland Police take extra notice during this vacation week.

"At least half of what I've responded to has been juveniles," Midland Police Officer, Lorn Painter, said. "More than anything."

Officers told NewsWest 9 during our ride-along that they see an increase in vandalism, burglaries and thefts committed by juveniles.

"All the kids are out. They don't have to go to bed early or anything," Painter said. "Cars being keyed, windows broken out, that's real common. Throwing eggs at cars, drive-by eggings. We look for a lot of criminal mischief, a lot of vandalism."

On their patrols, police look out for large groups of juveniles that could be gathered anywhere and check for key signs as they drive by.

"See how they react to your presence, see if they look like they're trying to hide something, evade, anything like that," Painter said. "If they see you and automatically kind of turn their face away like they don't want to be seen and they walk away."

Even on our ride-along, Officer Painter was called out to investigate two juveniles who had allegedly climbed on top of the roof of Jane Long Elementary School.

He said what could have just been criminal mischief could have become a burglary had police not intervened.

"More than likely that was gonna be criminal mischief or just a trespassing, basically is all that is," Painter said. "It's hard to tell what their motives were, what they were up to."

It's juvenile criminal actions that Midland officers are keeping a watchful eye out for on Spring Break.

Officer Painter told NewsWest 9 that while this criminal mischief isn't life-threatening, he still wants people to keep themselves safe. He said the best thing you can do is keep your doors locked, your outside lights on at night and to report any unusual activity you see.