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Teens Accused of Stealing From Sick Children and Other Burglaries

By Cyndi Lundeberg
By Clundeberg@wbbjtv.com

CROCKETT COUNTY, Tenn. - Three area teens are charged in a month-long crime spree with victims ranging from families to terminally ill children.

The 16 and 17-year-olds are accused of stealing auction items from the St. Jude Trail Ride fundraiser in September. The event drew thousands to Alamo to raise money for the research hospital.

"People take time to donate, to raise money for these people. It takes a different breed to steal from them," Gadsden Police Chief Jeff Sills said.

It wasn't just the trail ride fundraiser that was victimized. In Gadsden, officers believe the teens are behind 11 burglaries and 28 thefts. Everything from homes to cars to semi-trucks were broken into. In one case a gun was taken.

Amy Craig had things like pricey electronics and her son's dirt bike stolen.

"For the first few days even though I knew they caught who did it, I didn't like going in my backyard by myself," she said. "It just felt like I was being watched all the time."

Two of the teens were taken to Dyersburg Juvenile Detention Center.
"Right now their all on house arrest. They were released to their parents," Sergeant Gilliland said.

Craig says even though she's a victim she's not angry. More than anything she says she's heartbroken. "It made me really sad for them. Sad that their home life is so bad this is where they are in their life," she said.

The Crockett County Sheriff's Department and Gadsden Police say nearly all the items stolen were returned. The teens are set to appear in court in November.
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