ABERDEEN, Miss. (WCBI)- It seems like one headline after another: shootings, armed robberies, and youth violence spreading across the country.
Mississippi has more than it’s fair share.
Aberdeen Police Chief Henry Randle says teens in his town are stealing weapons right out of cars.
“We have seen an up-rise in possession of firearms. A lot of guns are coming from break-ins and vehicles. We’re seeing them around the hours of 2am to 4am and a lot of vandalism to vehicles as far as firearms,” says Randle.
Teens and youth are getting their hands on guns in all shapes and sizes. They steal them, they sell them, and adults are buying them. Chief Randle showed WCBI only a small sample of the rifles, pistols and shotguns Aberdeen Police have seized over the last year. They know there’s more where these came from.
“They’re selling guns that has the value of 12 to 13 hundred dollars, anywhere from the neighborhood of 75 to 100 dollars so I could like to say one of the motives for this is money,” says Randle.
To avoid getting caught, juveniles store the high-powered rifles and other illegal substances inside abandoned houses. Aberdeen has plenty of those.
“The abandoned houses, you can normally find drugs, paraphernalia. We actually found some of the stolen items we’ve been looking for and the dilapidated homes, they’re pretty much in ruins. The floors are out, they’re using it for whatever they want,” says Randle.
Randle tells us it’s important that we break this cycle of youth violence right now.
“Someone is going to actually lose a life. I’ve heard the complaints of the citizens. They’re tired and I’m tired,” says Randle.
The Aberdeen Police department is doing everything it can to crack down on teens with guns. They are offering cash rewards to anyone with knowledge leading to illegally purchased weapons. If you have any information, please contact the Aberdeen Police department.