Last fall, numerous members of a Pennsylvania Amish community reported multiple burglaries. In addition to missing firearms, tools and an ATV, thousands of dollars in cash were apparently stolen and more than $25,000 in property damage occurred. Investigators said that there was string of burglaries in the months of September, October and November.
Since the initial reports were made, police launched an investigation that culminated in the arrests of five people. One of the defendants is a 19-year-old man who was jailed initially and later released after posting a bond. The other four are juveniles.
The defendants are accused of being an organized crime group
Pennsylvania police believe the four accused individuals were part of an organized crime group who have allegedly been targeting Amish business owners and private residents for theft. The 19-year-old is facing multiple theft charges, as well as charges for corruption of minors and unauthorized operation of a motor vehicle.
Differences between criminal court and the juvenile justice system
While it is possible in cases of serious or violent crimes for juveniles to be tried as adults, it is far more common for minors facing charges to have their cases adjudicated in the juvenile justice system. Concerned parents or guardians of minors facing criminal charges can meet with an attorney who has experience regarding juvenile justice laws. The lawyer can recommend defense strategies and help to pursue the most favorable outcome possible.