BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Police are on alert after packs of teens have been wreaking havoc in Baltimore City.
The latest arrests have come after a mother was carjacked in Homeland while holding her 7-week-old baby.
It happened Tuesday afternoon and police believe the teens brandished a fake gun before taking off with the victim’s car.
“Saw them breaking into cars, trying handles, we called 911 came down a little further and one revealed a handgun in his waistband,” the Homeland resident says.
The group of teens were tracked down in the car stolen from the mother of the baby.
Police say they’re doing everything possible to disrupt the patterns of these kids, especially before school lets out.
Days before the carjacking, police believe the same group of teens were involved in robbing a 61-year-old woman in the quiet community.
Weeks ago, a young group of teens attacked a man downtown in the middle of rush hour.
“Most of the times these types of crimes committed by young people, are done in groups and they’re allowing peer pressure to influence their decision making,” said T.J. Smith of the Baltimore City Police.
Baltimore City police say juvenile arrests are up in major crime categories: assault and robbery arrests are up from 80 to 103, burglary arrests are up from 19 to 46, and stolen automobile arrests up from 68 to 74.
“Is that good or bad? It means we’re catching more of them but it means they’re more of them committing the crimes,” Smith says.
A pattern police are doing everything to break down.
“If we don’t disrupt this pattern they’re already involved in, we’ll be talking about them on the end of violent crime as adults,” he says. “At the end of the day, people we see continue down a path because they don’t fear any repercussions for their actions.”
Police say accountability has never been more crucial and because two of the teens are 16 that allows them to be charged as adults with armed carjacking.
The 14 and 15 year old are being charged as juveniles.
Police don’t believe the teens were part of influenced by any gang.
Police say it was an anonymous tip on Wednesday that led them to the stolen car and ultimately the teens’ arrest.