NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Law enforcement officials from around the area say they arrested a 13-year-old involved in a car burglary, a 15-year-old for his involvement in an armed carjacking and continue to search for a 14-year-old who officers said shot a young man last week.
On Tuesday, New Orleans police arrested a 13-year-old after neighbors told investigators they saw the boy pulling on car door handles and rummaging through people's belongings.
"I thought he was just walking down the street joking around, and then he pulled open the car door. It was unlocked, and he got in. The second I saw him get in, I flew open my car door open and started running down the street with my phone in my hand," a witness told FOX 8.
Police said after responding to the car burglary on N. Rampart near Mazant St. in the Marigny, they found the 13-year-old a few blocks away at the corner of St. Claude Ave. and Alvar St.
Officers booked the boy into the Juvenile Bureau.
"I was riding my bike when I was 13. I couldn't imagine doing that kind of stuff when I was only 13," the witness said. "There has to be some point where you instill some sort of self-worth in your child where they think that they matter, so therefore other people matter, and other people's things matter."
Kenner Police said a 15-year-old who was already on probation and wearing an ankle monitor was involved in an armed carjacking Tuesday. The victim told investigators two cars followed him home to West Louisiana State Drive and a man walked up to him with a gun demanding his car.
The 15-year-old jumped in the victim's car that police later saw on West Esplanade Avenue at West Loyola Drive. They arrested him after a brief chase.
The child was on probation for possession of a stolen vehicle out of New Orleans, according to Kenner PD.
The arrests of the children come as the NOPD continues to search for 14-year-old Tyrone Walton. Officers said Walton shot another young man in the shoulder last Thursday after the two got into an argument in New Orleans East.
In Laplace, a young man said he witnessed three boys shoot up a bus window with a pellet gun.
"They looked about 11 to 12," the witness said. "As they were leaving, they said let's go shoot up some car windows. I was thinking oh these kids need to be caught. I mean, they can't go shoot up other people's private property and have this keep happening without people knowing."
The St. John the Baptist Sheriff's office could not be reached for comment about the incident in Laplace
"It makes you angry and sad at the same time," Loyola Criminologist George Capowich said. "Typically, the involvement is a little later, 16, but 13 is a little more rare."
Capowich said juvenile crime is an issue for many large cities, especially in the summer months.
"Police actions alone are never going to be sufficient. You have to have other things going on and get them pulled into things that capture their attention," Capowich said.