News 5 Investigates: Teenage crime numbers in Mobile County

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MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — This week more than five teenagers were arrested for robberies and other crimes.

One was arrested on Monday after a stolen car wrecked in Prichard.

We are seeing a trend of more teenagers being booked into Metro Jail. Mobile officials say there may be a bigger problem at hand.

“We have been told, I have been told on two separate occasions that they are recruiting gang members in middle school,” said Mobile County District Attorney, Ashley Rich.

Younger people are being charged more with violent crimes.

“What we tend to have is adolescent gang activity and young adult gang activity that goes into adulthood. The reason it becomes such an issue for us is whenever you have violent crime incidents you have retaliation for it. You end up in this back and forth exchange,” said Mobile Public Safety Director James Barber.

Over the past few days, at least 5 teens were arrested in Mobile County, charged with various crimes, including three 17-year-olds charged with robbery and an 18-year-old charged with murder. We don’t know if these recent crimes are gang-related, but it still creates unease for people in the community.

“It’s shocking, in all honesty though, it’s not too uncommon,” said Nathan Jarrell.

Jarrell’s car was stolen on Sunday night. His family uses that car to take their sick daughter to doctor’s appointments.

“They came and backed the car out of the driveway and took off. My wife told me to get something out of the car, and I looked and saw the car was gone,” said Jarrell.

On Monday, Mobile police spotted his car on I-65 and chased it to Prichard, where the driver crashed at a body shop on Saint Stephens Road.

“Everything in it was gone. All of the car seats, she had clothes to donate to the women’s resource center. They took all that. Everything was wiped out, all the stuff inside,” said Jarrell.

Jamartez Tucker, 21, was arrested and a 16-year-old was transported to Strickland Youth Center.

Jarrell says something needs to be done.

“We’ve had that car for over 10 years. It’s been paid off. Haven’t had a note, back to square one,” said Jarrell.

Jarrell and his family have a GoFundMe set up to help cover the costs.

We have reached out to Mobile County Publis Schools, they say they are not aware of any gang recruitment at or in their middle schools.

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