LAKELAND (FOX 13) - Two young teens in Polk County are accused of armed robbery after stealing a car and holding up a victim at gunpoint.
Sheriff Grady Judd says the two teens stole a gun from one of their fathers, then also took his car to try to pull off a heist. The sheriff says the victim fought back and escaped. The boys were caught soonafter.
Jonathan Hall and Zachary Tillery have been charged with nine felonies, including armed robbery.
"Hall said, 'I need money, what am I supposed to do, rob my daddy?'" said Judd.
Judd says the boys have extensive criminal histories and he says the juvenile justice system needs more beds for kids who need significant help.
He says kids are often sent home before being placed because there isn't enough room. Forty percent of the time, they wind up back in trouble while they are waiting.
He had that conversation with the secretary of the Department of Juvenile Justice earlier this month.
"She has asked for 60 new beds this session, 30 secure and 30 non-secure. I appreciate that," said Judd. "She doesn't need 30 beds, she needs 300 beds for the state of Florida. Thirty beds. Are you kidding me?"
The DJJ released a statement saying they were committed to public safety and pledging to work with law enforcement.
The parents of one of the boys who said they did not want to comment until they saw the official report from the sheriff's office.
The kids face nine felonies between them and are booked into the juvenile assessment center.
"I have seen kids turn around," Judd added. "If we don't get control of them now, we will see them in our criminal system as adults for a long time."