In response to a recent rash of entering autos by local young people, the Richmond Hill Police Department plans to more actively enforce the city’s curfew ordinance.
Last week, three young Richmond Hill males allegedly burglarized 18 cars May 29-30 in the area of Rushing Street Station subdivision. One arrest was made, but police say seven other non-related entering autos occurred the same weekend.
"Just because we’ve made an arrest on the 18 in Rushing Street, doesn’t mean we’ve solved this problem," RHPD Major Mike Albritton said.
Some of the other weekend entering auto calls included two on Ivy Street and two on Laurel Hill.
Albritton said he emailed patrol officers on Monday, instructing them to take a tougher stance on the curfew ordinance. According to the ordinance, minors under the age of 16 are prohibited to be in public without supervision from a parent or guardian between the hours of 11 p.m. -- or midnight on Saturday -- and 6 a.m.
Violation of the ordinance can carry a maximum fine of $300.An investigation at Rushing Street Station by RHPD Detective Doug Sahlberg May 30 led to the arrest of Jordan Martinez, 17, who lives in the neighborhood and is
being charged with the 18-car spree. RHPD Major Mike Albritton said two neighborhood 12-year-olds were implicated as well. He said due to their age, the minors were not arrested, but the break-ins were discussed with their parents.
Albritton said the young men confessed to the Rushing Street spree and most of the items were recovered. Albritton said many of the vehicles were unlocked, but windows were busted out in some cases.
At Tuesday’s council meeting, Mayor Pro Tem Floyd Hilliard, who lives in Rushing Street Station, commended the RHPD for solving the spree within 24 hours.
Albritton encourages all residents to lock their vehicles while unattended and to either remove or conceal valuables inside their vehicles. He said this could drastically reduce the number of entering autos in the city. Albritton also encourages people to call police if they observe any suspicious activity in their area.