By Sara Hall | NB Indy
Police cracked down on juvenile curfew violators recently, in response to an increase in theft and related crimes committed by minors during the late-night hours.
Newport Beach police officers caught 14 juvenile delinquents in the curfew sweep during the weekend of Aug. 13-14, three of whom were also held on other criminal charges.
The curfew sweep was based on the summer statistics of an increase in thefts and theft-related crime. Between Aug. 1 and 15, officers made 26 curfew arrests and 13 of those also had other felony or misdemeanors charges.
“We start making more curfew arrests during summertime,” said Newport Beach police Sgt. Steve Burdette.
There was quite a bit of an increase in July, Burdette said, adding that he was not sure if the numbers were significantly higher than previous summers. There were 37 burglary or theft-from-vehicle arrests between July 1 and 15.
“Based on the statistics from July, I believe, is what led our campaign,” Burdette said.
A city ordinance prohibits minors from loitering in streets, alleys and other public areas between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.
The wave of vehicle thefts and residential burglaries is somewhat of a trend right now with the younger crowd, Burdette said.
“It’s a hot topic (amongst juveniles),” he said.
Kids will talk with each other about hitting a certain block or neighborhood and randomly trying to open car or house doors, he said. Sometimes simply looking in through a window to see if anything of value is in sight will incite a theft.
Newport Beach police will continue to enforce the curfew, Burdette said.