COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSYX) — The Columbus Division of Police among more than a dozen law enforcement agencies that continue to see a spike in violent crime involving teen suspects.
"They've been involved in criminal activity in Pickerington, Bexley, Grove City, Blendon Township, Westerville, and here in Columbus," said Columbus Police Acting Commander Duane Mabry.
Mabry says investigators now focusing their attention on a group of teens that have been committing crimes in the Blendown Township area.
"These young people are committing a series of crimes and getting more and more dangerous," said Mabry.
March 4th, two suspected teen suspects were spotted by an off-duty Columbus Police officer stealing a Mitsubishi from North Columbus.
"He saw the kids pull up in an SUV," said Mabry, "they jump out and stole another car."
Troopers with The Ohio Highway Patrol and Delaware County Sheriff's Deputies pursued the 15-year-old & 16-year-old suspects for several miles before they were apprehended in Delaware City.
"They were slated in Franklin County," said Mabry, they were taken to JIC (Juvenile Intervention Center), since then they were released."
ABC 6/FOX 28 has learned 12 days later the same two teen suspects were arrested on March 15th near Karl and Morse Roads with two other juveniles accused of committing a string of crimes.
"They were again apprehended in a stolen car, said Mabry, with two other kids that was out of a robbery, and we believe multiple robberies."
Officers say the four kids are believed to be involved in one of four groups of juveniles that have been terrorizing Central Ohio since the end of December, snatching purses, stealing cars, and commit more serious violence.
Police say many of the arrested teen suspects back out on the streets after appearing in juvenile court.
"There are loopholes that need to be closed," said Mabry, "and we are doing everything in our part to make sure they are closed."
Columbus Police telling me law enforcement now working with the juvenile court system, including prosecutors and judges to create a uniform system everyone can use to track teen suspects, so they don't fall through the cracks of the legal system.
"These kids are repeat offenders, and we need to work together to solve the problem," said Mabry, "they are going to kill someone or be killed if we don't do something to intervene to keep our community safe."
ABC 6 reached out to officials with the Juvenile Court system and the Franklin County Prosecutors office, but have not heard back.