MEMPHIS, Tenn. — We see crimes involving teens somewhat regularly in Memphis, but a video of a child trying to break into a car in Midtown has one woman concerned about youth crime.
Aley Avery said she got the notification on her Nest camera Wednesday afternoon after a motion sensor was triggered in her carport.
“I checked and sure enough there was a young man, a young little boy actually, trying to break my window using a tool of some sort,” Avery said.
She said she yelled through the camera to leave and the boy, who appears to be no more than 10 years old, takes off.
Avery said she is most bothered by his young age.
“I started thinking about it. I just feel sad about it because he’s a young boy who should probably be in school,” she said.
This isn’t the only time we’ve seen a child caught on camera committing a crime this week. On Sunday, a video of a burglary at Smooth Wireless in Whitehaven showed another child following an adult through the store.
Former Shelby County Juvenile Judge Dan Michael said he noticed an increase in younger children entering the system before he retired in September. He said these issues start at home and the pandemic only made things worse.
“The pandemic caused serious issues. Over 40 percent of the children in Shelby County Schools didn’t go to school during the pandemic. I don’t mean physically, they didn’t get on the computer. You’ve got to do something with your time, and the streets are open 24/7,” Michael said.
He believes the only way to fix it is to invest in impoverished neighborhoods and hopefully set kids on a better path.
Avery said while this was a scary experience, it has also been eye opening.
“Be alert but also show compassion in some ways. These are young kids who are in need of some guidance and some good parenting and some friendships that can lead them to a better life,” she said.
We reached out to MPD to see just how big the issue of youth crime is in the city, but they didn’t have those statistics immediately available.