A photo-illustration shows a representation of a car theft in downtown Davenport on Sunday. 


The Davenport Police Department's latest juvenile arrests follow multiple patterns that law enforcement agencies in the Quad-Cities continue to combat.

Car thefts in Davenport have risen by more than 10 percent compared with last year and with the arrest of three more juveniles late Monday morning, law enforcement agencies continue to see that a good portion are being committed by the same teens.

"We do experience a group that are committing multiple offenses," Maj. Jeff Bladel said. "We consistently see one-third as repeat offenders."

On Monday, officers were dispatched to East 14th and Kuehl streets in Davenport after the report of a vehicle being abandoned by juveniles.

Three juveniles were arrested and charged with second-degree theft of the vehicle, which was reported stolen from the 2100 block of Main Street. One of the juveniles has faced similar charges in the past.

Friday's arrests of five juveniles were no different as two juveniles facing charges related to three stolen vehicles had previously faced similar charges.

The high-speed chase on Friday began in Durant before police were able to deflate the tires of the vehicles and apprehend the teens after a foot pursuit.

A 15-year-old girl, 15-year-old boy and 14-year-old boy face three counts of first-degree theft and one count of interference with official acts.

Another 15-year-old boy was charged with the same offenses in addition to carrying a weapon, while another boy was charged with three counts of first-degree theft and interference with official acts causing injury.

While local law enforcement agencies have seen a number of repeat offenders, on the other side of the coin, the growing pattern over the past six months is an increasing number of first-time offenders are starting with car thefts and the alleged perpetrators are getting younger.

"In the past, the vast majority we would see with the car thefts would claim a gang affiliation in the Quad-Cities," said Scott Hobart, Chief Juvenile Court Officer of the 7th Judicial District. "What we're seeing now is we have some first timers to this system where their first offense is related to stolen vehicles."

Thursday, three 14-year-old and one 13-year-old males were charged with one count of first-degree theft and one count of second-degree criminal mischief.

The four males juveniles were alleged to have crashed a stolen vehicle into a fence on the 3700 block of Fairmount Avenue. None of the juveniles had previously faced charges related to stolen vehicles.

Hobart said one of the concerning aspects was the change in mindset of juveniles, where it has gone from a criminal mentality to becoming a social media-driven activity.

"We're used to seeing kids that are viewing it as a thrill-seeking and the big concern is they are seeing it as social media activity, where they are trying to one-up each other," Hobart said.

With that change in behavior, it's become more dangerous because juveniles don't see the seriousness or consequences of the crime, which can escalate to homicide by motor vehicle.

For a number of the teens involved, they have not learned how to drive yet.

As a result, Hobart said juvenile court officers often hear teens talk of the how "fun" it was to steal cars, which has left the Juvenile Detention Center as stretched as it has ever been. It also emphasized the need to put resources into helping correct the increasingly troublesome behavior, he said.

"The entire juvenile justice system is taking this car theft seriously," Hobart said. "This is blatantly a community safety issue."