Orange County see spike in juvenile crime since beginning of summer

It's just the beginning of summer vacation and the Orange County Sheriff says juvenile crime is already on the rise. He's asking parents for their help.

"It has been a violent weekend in unincorporated Orange County," said Sheriff Jerry Demings.  

Crime scene tape left over from last weekend after a 16-year-old boy was shot on Indian Hills Road by Meadowbrook Lane. Investigators say it was a drive-by shooting by someone the boy didn't know.  

Orange County Sgt. Antonio Wright says, "It's my understand that he is doing well; he's expected to recover. We are soliciting tips about the community, if you know something about the shooting."

Sheriff Demings says there were a total of 7 shootings and one stabbing over the weekend, all involved juveniles.

"We are specifically concerned about the rise in violent crime involving teenagers and children."

According to the sheriff, out of 1,356 reported violent crimes in the last year, nearly half of them have been committed by juveniles between the ages of 13 to 19 years of age.  Demings is worried that it will get worse over the summer.

"School has been out for 12 days, and we're appealing to the community to join law enforcement by getting involved in combating crime particularly juvenile crime."

He is encouraging parents to get their kids involved in activities, like the Sheriff's Explorer Program and other youth-related organizations.

"We do not want to be in a position where we are reacting to a crime we're trying to get in front of it."

Anyone with information about the shootings and stabbing from over the weekend is asked to call Crimeline at 800-423-TIPS (8477).
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