What would you do if your teenage son gifted you with a luxury car? Well, in the case of the baby gangsta crew from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, their parents must have looked the other way. Six teenage boys, from 14-16 years old, are accused of robbing a home in Florida, making off with over 200K. After buying grills and other items, they gifted their parents and siblings with luxury cars ranging from a brand new $80,000 Dodge Charger to a used $25,000 Mercedes-Benz.
The six boys charged this week with breaking into a home and stealing a Porsche, a safe stuffed with more than $200,000 in cash and two loaded handguns were so young that only one was old enough to drive.
But the Fort Lauderdale teens — ages 14 to 16 — are experienced in crime well beyond their years and have lengthy rap sheets, authorities say.
One of the teens, Rural Scott, 15, was on probation and wearing a court-ordered ankle monitor when he told investigators he served as lookout during the April 27 break-in in Fort Pierce.
St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken Mascara called the teenagers “thugs” who “intentionally targeted our community, searched out a house in an affluent neighborhood and stole their life savings.”
When charged with burglary and grand theft this week, all six of the teenagers were already in custody on other charges.
To some, the arrests represent the revolving door futility of the criminal justice system. But the case also serves as a reminder that more needs to be done to improve that system.
“Being held accountable is important, but that is only part of the ultimate goal,” said Maria Schneider, a prosecutor in the juvenile division of the Broward State Attorney’s office. “We need to look beyond that and ask, ‘What needs to be different in your life to make sure you and rest of us are safe?’”
“And we are not doing a very good job,” said Schneider. “It’s frustrating.”
One youth claimed he bought permanent gold teeth for $11,000; a $10,000 gold chain; a $3,500 gold bracelet; an $80,000 Dodge Challenger Hellcat for his mom, which he put in her name; and a $25,000 2009 Mercedes C300 in his brother’s name.
The six teens accused of theft are:
RURAL SCOTT, 15
Rural Scott,15, has at least nine previous arrests since he was first arrested June 28, 2015, at age 13 by the Broward Sheriff’s Office He faced burglary, grand theft and criminal mischief charges. He’s also been arrested by Lauderhill, Fort Lauderdale and Boca Raton Police departments along with the Palm Beach County and Okeechobee County Sheriff’s offices for charges including grand theft auto, probation violation, obstructing justice and criminal mischief over $1,000.
Scott told investigators he called his mother “and told her about ‘hitting’ the house” they burglarized.
Reached by phone, Shanika Shorter, Scott’s mother, said, “Do you believe everything you hear?” before hanging up.
JEREMIAH LAPLACE, 15
In less than two years, Jeremiah Laplace, 15, has been arrested 14 times starting at age 14 when Sunrise Police arrested him Jan. 18, 2016, on a grand theft charge. Since then, Fort Lauderdale Police, and the Broward County Sheriff’s Office have had several run-ins with the teen, who has faced charges of robbery by sudden snatching, grand theft auto, burglary, grand theft of a firearm and criminal mischief.
MICHAEL BUSH, 14
Michael Bush, 14, was first arrested at age 13 on Aug. 7, 2016, by the Broward Sheriff’s Office on charges of burglary, petty theft. He has at least four previous arrests by Coconut Creek Police, Fort Lauderdale Police and Delray Beach Police for charges including burglary, larceny and grand theft charges.
JOSHUA SARGEANT, 14
Joshua Sargeant, 14, has at least six previous arrests from the Broward and Palm Beach County sheriff’s offices and the Fort Lauderdale and Lauderhill police departments. His previous charges include battery on an officer, burglary, grand theft and battery.
SHOMARI SMITH, 14
Shomari Smith, 14, has at least seven previous arrests including burglary, grand theft auto and grand theft with agencies of the Broward and Palm Beach County sheriff’s offices and Plantation and Fort Lauderdale police departments.
WALTER WALKER, 16
Walter Walker, 16, has at least nine previous arrests from Opa-locka and Fort Lauderdale police departments and the Broward Sheriff’s Office, including charges of burglary, grand theft auto, criminal mischief over $1,000, cocaine possession and destroying evidence.
All of the teens were being held Tuesday in St. Lucie County Jail on charges including burglary of a dwelling while armed, grand theft over $100,000, grand theft of a firearm and grand theft of a motor vehicle. Their bonds range from no bond to $250,000.
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