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Arrest of three North Carolina youth poses juvenile crime issues

North Carolina readers might associate pranks or other forms of juvenile mischief as a natural part of growing up. Kids are not held to the same standard as adults in a variety of criteria, not the least of which is cognitive and emotional maturity. However, sometimes misbehaving kids may cross the line into misdemeanor or even felony offenses, as in today's story.

According to local Wilmington authorities, three North Carolina juveniles were arrested for allegedly breaking and entering into a row of cars parked along Wrightsville Avenue. The incident happened about one and one-half hours after midnight, on a recent early Saturday morning.

Authorities were directed to the scene by a report of a potential larceny or breaking and entering in progress. Upon their arrival, the alleged crime was no longer in progress. However, the responding officers found the kids a few blocks away on their skateboards. A search of the contents of a small bag on their possession revealed items stolen from the cars. Authorities also discovered several other vehicles in the vicinity that had been vandalized. The juveniles later admitted to those acts.

Many jurisdictions recognize that most kids lack the same cognitive and psychological profiles as adults. For that reason, juvenile crimes are often handled differently. Prosecutors may be more willing to negotiate with a criminal defense attorney for alternatives to incarceration, such as community service and probation. In addition, some juvenile offenses might be sealed, so that a minor has an opportunity to start his or her adult life fresh, without the baggage of a criminal record.

Source:, "Juveniles accused of breaking into cars over weekend," July 29, 2013