Rossville teenagers accused of breaking into cars, stealing guns - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Rossville teenagers accused of breaking into cars, stealing guns & damaging vehicles

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ROSSVILLE, GA (WRCB) -

Three teenagers went on a vandalism rampage in a Rossville neighborhood, stealing weapons and valuables and damaging a number of cars and mailboxes, according to the Rossville Police Department.

A detective said more than 14 vehicle break-ins were reported, two cars were shot at and another vehicle was pushed off a roadside cliff.

The vandalism happened in the early morning hours of May 2nd at South Mission Ridge Drive.

Rossville Police said they immediately suspected it was the work of juveniles after seeing all of the unlocked cars on the same street broken into overnight.

But even though they said it's a childish crime, it can come with adult consequences.
    
The police department is petitioning the judge have the three teenagers tried as adults.

"They've just got such a history I would prefer they be prosecuted there but that's up to the courts," Detective David Scroggins said.

A long the quiet, dead end drive in Rossville, house after house all share a similar story.

"They whole window had been smashed and the doors were opened, and they were rummaging but we were fortunate they didn't get anything," said Lee Pickard.

"They had not taken anything out of our car but had made a mess," said Annabell Harr, "Pulled everything out of the glove compartment, strewn it all over the car."
 
Valuable items were stolen from many of their neighbors, and it didn't take long for them to learn more than a dozen homes were targeted.

 "We began to hear of other people that had been broken into, then heard about the guns," Harr said.

Three guns were stolen out of cars along the street.
    
Those guns were then used to commit more crimes, shooting at several mailboxes.

"And they used those firearms to shoot up a couple of cars, and then there was a third car that they pushed off a cliff, demolished that car," Det. Scroggins said.

Det. Scroggins arrested 17-year-old Thomas Cross and two 16-year old boys for all the thefts and damage.
    
Rossville Police are familiar with all three of them.

"They are perpetual problems for the community," Det. Scroggins said.

Police found the three suspects pretty quickly, Det. Scroggins said they confessed to the crimes.
    
But the guns have not be recovered.

"Scares me to death," the detective said.

According to Det. Scroggins, the juveniles said they traded the guns for drugs, making it nearly impossible for police to find them.

"And now they're out there trading that gun to another kid for dope, or a few bucks, and we've got guns in the hands of kids," he said.

Police want to remind people to lock their cars at all times and never leave a gun inside a car unattended.
    
Detective Scroggins said he's also investigating a connection between this incident and the vandalism at the Rossville City Park. He believes some of the same juveniles could be responsible for that too. No arrests have been made yet in that vandalism case.

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