Syracuse, N.Y. — Deputies have arrested about 25 juveniles during the past five months in connection with a slew of car thefts in Onondaga County.
The rash of thefts started in the middle of June, when deputies started receiving reports of kids breaking into and stealing from cars across the county, said Sgt. Jon Seeber, Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office spokesman. The crimes then escalated as young thieves stole vehicles — sometimes by slipping into homes and taking keys, he said.
Some of the stolen cars have been found abandoned in Syracuse. Others have been recovered at the end of police chases after the juveniles tried to flee in stolen vehicles, Seeber said.
READ MORE: Thieves spend night stealing 9 cars, one-by-one, from Cicero dealership
Detectives have charged about 25 juveniles — including a 12 year old — in connection with the thefts, Seeber. Some of the children have been arrested repeatedly, he said.
The most recent thefts happened Nov. 8, when teenagers spent hours stealing nine cars, one-by-one, from a Cicero dealership, Seeber said. Two teens were caught on camera breaking into Best Buy Auto Sales & Service and rifling through desks in search of car keys, he said.
The thefts have largely been “crimes of opportunity,” Seeber said: Residents who have left their homes or cars unlocked have been targeted.
As the thefts continue, the sheriff’s office has reminded residents to lock their homes and cars.
READ MORE: 4 teens arrested after driver crashes stolen car in downtown Syracuse, police say
Staff writer Samantha House covers breaking news, crime and public safety. Have a tip, a story idea, a question or a comment? Reach her at [email protected]