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Crime without the usual borders

A bar owner is shot in a robbery gone bad, cars are stolen or burglarized and there’s a chase by police. Two 18-year-olds and two juveniles have been arrested for this crime spree. A detective said: “It’s mind boggling all the things they did. I don’t believe they were going to stop until they got caught.”

These are the kinds of things we hear happening in East St. Louis or Washington Park or Booklyn. But Carlyle and Sandoval and Millstadt? Really?

Yes, really.

This story is a reminder that all communities can fall victim to crime; none is immune. Criminals live throughout the metro-east, not just in particular areas. One of the suspects is from quiet Carlyle. Besides, criminals are mobile and regularly travel beyond the borders of their hometowns. They don’t feel compelled to stay in the geographic boxes that the rest of us want for them.

Beyond the unexpectedness of the locations is the shock of the range of crimes. Investigators say the group may be responsible for other crimes as well.

What would drive four young people to commit this extended crime streak, and over the Christmas holidays? Were they desperate? Bored? Acting out after playing some video game?

Their reasons may be as unexpected as their choice of locations. But whatever the motivation, there’s no justification for their actions. The people responsible for these crimes deserve to be locked up as long as the law allows.