I-Team 8

4 kids arrested in armed carjacking highlights increase in teen crime

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The arrest of four boys in an armed carjacking early Friday morning has highlighted a disturbing trend plaguing the streets of Indy: crimes involving teens.

“The ages of both victims and perpetrators seem to be creeping downward,” said Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett.

IMPD says Friday’s armed carjacking led to a police chase near Washington Street. They say no one was hurt, but they did recover a weapon.

Between Jan. 1 and Oct. 16, there have been 194 carjackings in Indy. In 2020, IMPD says there were 131 carjackings.

“At the age most of us are enjoying our teenage years, there’s a level of violence that’s unacceptable,” said Hogsett.

Hogsett is using $150 million for public safety, which he says includes mental health services for teens, recreation centers and job programs.

Reverend Malachi Walker says the programs are a start, but more has to be done.

“When they get these guns in their hands, they think they have power — and nobody can tell them nothing,” said Walker.

Walker, found of Young Men Inc., an organization that provides mentoring and summer camp for young boys, says he believes the pandemic has added a heavy burden on Indy youth. That burden is what he says has caused this increase in teens choosing a negative outlet.

“We usually have 100 boys every summer, (but) when the pandemic hit, I cut that down to 40 for social distancing,” he said.

Walker says he believes the program will be back to full capacity this coming summer as he calls on everyone — from parents to legislators — to come together to make a difference.

“It takes a village to raise a child,” says Walker. “It’s going to take a slew of decisions that people say we need to come together as one and sit down at the table.”

I-Team 8 reached out for more updates on Friday’s armed carjacking, but no updates were yet available.

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