Juvenile Crime Spree Busted in DeFuniak Springs - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Juvenile Crime Spree Busted in DeFuniak Springs

Posted: Updated:

Law Enforcement in DeFuniak Springs is citing boredom as the motive behind a juvenile crime spree that has resulted in the arrest of 7; 5 of them under 18 years of age.

News 13 talked to police officials, who said they have a message to kids and their parents.

They said this case was shocking when you look at the sheer number of victims; 45 warrants with multiple counts of theft, including stealing firearms.

For most of these suspects, they have never even had a criminal record until now.

"You know, idle hands are the devils playground," said Lt. Richard Black of The DeFuniak Springs Police Department.

Black said this time the devils playground took root in DeFuniak Springs. An extensive, 3 month long investigation led to the arrest of 2 adults, Wesley Frymire and Edward Pomante, as well as 5 male juveniles.

Together they are responsible for charges ranging from armed burglaries to theft of fire arms.

"There were 45 different offenses, which was 45 victims," said Black.

Black said this started out as a game, initially to rearrange items in unlocked cars, but progressed to petty theft.

"These were crimes of opportunity in some cases where they were checking vehicles. They checked it, it was unlocked, they went in," said Black.

He said this game escalated when they began to steal firearms. Now, he said some are facing potentially life changing prison time.

"If they actually do get convicted of those crimes, they could face ten years in prison," said Black.

Black said it's a hard pill to swallow as a parent and urged other parents to take an interest in what your children are up to.

"Most of these didn't have any kind of record prior to this. Unfortunately this is their first time, first go around and it's a hard lesson to learn," said Black.

It was harder when they learned one suspect even had a military scholarship, but now could be facing hard time.

"Kids know that it's wrong. They know right from wrong, but they don't take into account, this is what's going to happen if they get caught," he said.

Black urged students to take note as well; learn by example and don't let yourself get pressured into things that could ruin your record.

Law Enforcement has been able to return much of the stolen property, and now hope the legal system will be able to straighten out these young men.