Teen crime spree highlights complicated issue for police

Three teens were arrested after a crime spree Monday.
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A crime spree Monday morning is a snapshot of juvenile crime in Indianapolis.

Three teens stole a vehicle, burglarized a home and led police on a chase with flagrant disregard for their safety and for the safety of those around them.

The spree ended on Kessler near Binford, the teen suspects in handcuffs on the ground after crashing the stolen minivan. Two innocent motorists suffered damage to their cars, but no injuries.

"She's okay, I'm okay. I think they said the other car that they hit was similar to this, where everyone's okay, but yeah, it's scary," said witness Lisa Murdock.

It started hours earlier on the north side, near 73rd and Spring Mill. Police say they kicked in a condominium door, stealing flat screen TVs and jewelry, all while the elderly homeowner was at a chemotherapy treatment.

At the crash scene, a watch and rings matching what was stolen was recovered. The young suspects seemed unfazed by what they had done.

"(Expletive) hate the cops. (Expletive) hate 'em," one of the teens said.

"That's not appropriate. We can't tolerate that, but it also shows not only a lack of respect for others, but a lack of respect for themselves," said Public Safety Director Troy Riggs.

Another example of youth crime - a problem with a complicated solution.

"We are not going to arrest our way out of this. We cannot solve this issue through judicial processes, this has to be a social issue and dealt with by the community," Riggs said.

In the meantime, the entire community is victimized.

"When these kinds of things happen, it really shakes you up and you say, 'How could it happen?' and 'Why would it happen here?'," said neighbor Carole Garstang.

The short-term solution is to keep your eyes and ears open.

"See something, say something. Do not be afraid to call," Garstang said.

It was actually an alert neighbor who heard the break-in and took down the license number of the van that led to the arrests.