TOWSON, Md. (WBFF) — Baltimore City and Baltimore County are both seeing more carjackings and crimes by teenagers. In Baltimore County, leaders are sending a strong message: there are consequences for your actions.
This week three teenagers, 17-year-olds, are in custody for a carjacking at the Towson Town Center garage Tuesday. All three are being charged as adults and are facing decades behind bars.
“We take crime very seriously here in Baltimore County,” County Executive Johnny Olszewski said. “While crime doesn’t have a border, ultimately these are all our children and we’re responsible for them. I think it is important that people understand that here in Baltimore County we have high expectations. Everyone is welcome to visit here, but we will not tolerate lawless behavior regardless of where you’re from.”
“He’s offering the police the resources and giving them the ability to solve the crime, I’m saying to your viewers that we pursue these cases very aggressively,” Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger said. He noted carjacking carries a 30-year maximum sentence and 16 and 17-year-olds can be charged as adults for carjacking.
“It is a very serious crime. A regular robbery where force is used can be 15 years. An armed robbery can be 20,” he says.
Baltimore County has seen more carjackings recently partly Shellenberger says because auto manufacturers have made cars more difficult to steal.
“Because now in order to steal a car you need the key fob.”
Carjacking is a dangerous crime putting drivers and any passengers or kids in the car at risk.
“That’s why the legislature made the sentence so high because of how dangerous it is and how scary it is to the victim,” Shellenberger said.
The county classifies a carjacking as a robbery. Shellenberger said the county had 894 robberies last year.
“Twenty-five percent of those were committed by juveniles. So this definitely is, that’s a real number, and it is definitely something that we are working on,” he said.
Part of working on that includes prosecuting those arrested to the full extent of the law.
“It’s a simple fact that if we send these folks to jail they will not be committing crimes in Baltimore County for that period of time,” Shellenberger said. “That’s what the criminal justice system is about. It’s about punishment and protection of the public.“
As for the teenagers arrested this week, one of the 17-year-olds had a bail review Wednesday and was denied bail.
He’s being held in the county detention center. Bail hearings for the other two have been postponed until attorneys are available.
More details on the teens charged and what happened are not available, even though the teens are charged as adults. Maryland law does not allow that information to be released publicly for juveniles.