Saturday, February 23, 2008

School put on lockdown as teens captured in thefts

Juveniles suspected in rash of break-ins By NATALIA MIELCZAREK • Staff Writer (Tennessean) • February 23, 2008 Three Nashville teens took a school bus Friday morning to get to class, but were spotted shortly afterward heading with guns to the nearby woods, Metro police said. The teens, all students at Antioch High School's freshman academy, were captured hiding under portable classrooms on the Thomas A. Edison Elementary campus, which was put on lockdown during the incident. The teens stashed the guns — stolen in a burglary that morning — in the woods, and all the weapons were recovered, police said. "There are possibly more arrests to come," Lt. Damian Huggins with the Hermitage Police Precinct said at a news conference Friday. "We're focusing our efforts on truancy stings. We have our eyes and surveillance on our high schools and middle schools." The teens are among at least seven juveniles — some with prior burglary charges — arrested in the past couple of days with suspected connections to 40 burglaries this year in the Percy Priest Lake area. The arrests are part of an ongoing effort to curb juvenile crime, which has risen by 56.9 percent between 2006 and last year, Huggins said. Police suspect that the three teens taken into custody Friday are members of a ring that breaks into homes during work hours to steal computers, game systems and guns. Police also interviewed 13 other people in connection with the burglaries, Huggins said. Three other Antioch High School students were arrested Thursday on charges of burglary and theft and are believed to be members of the ring, Huggins said. Metro schools spokesman Woody McMillin declined to comment on the Friday arrests.

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