Police: Group of kids, as young as 12, traveling from Del. to NJ to commit violent crimes

Police in Salem County are urging everyone to be alert. They say a group of teenagers, from Wilmington, are driving to New Jersey to commit crimes that range from robberies to carjackings.

"It’s males, females, anywhere from young juvenile age, 12, to early to mid-20s," says Lt. Joseph Racite, with the Carneys Point Police Department. "They take risks, they don’t care, and we’re very concerned for our community."

Lt. Racite says the group was behind at least twenty crimes late last year into early 2021 in Carneys Point alone, but are responsible for other crimes in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware.

With the help of neighboring police departments including Wilmington and Delaware State Police, he says they made some arrests and for a few months, things quieted down. However, within the last two weeks, they started to see the crimes pick back up.

Surveillance video at a Carneys Point gas station on Shell Road last Thursday captured three people lingering by a pump, then running towards the cashier when they see an attendant leave. Police say they were armed and swiped approximately $6,000. 

On Monday, an employee at another gas station was robbed and police say a group attempted to steal his car. The employee, Varinder Singh, says he, fortunately, did not have his keys on him at the time.

"He come behind me, hit me in the head, I fall down on the floor, they got my hoodie, they keep punching me," he says.

That same day, police say a woman was carjacked in broad daylight at J&J Car Wash in Penns Grove. The owner, a friend of the victim, said she was only there for a minute.

"It was pretty frightening, says Jeff Robertson. "That's the scary part, they’ll jump and pounce whenever they see it available.

"Lt. Racite says in many instances where they caught up to the group, it turns into a pursuit. Yesterday, for example, they had to stop pursuing for the community’s safety."When they’re driving away, their driving is dangerous to the entire community."He says they often hear right for the bridge where they know they can get away.

Carneys Point Police are working with police in Delaware to help with that. They are urging the public to be alert, do not leave anything inside vehicles, including key FOBs, and report all suspicious activity.



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