Seven teens arrested for more than 30 car jackings, burglaries across middle Tennessee


The Hendersonville Police Department said it arrested the seventh teen Friday afternoon involved in a string of carjackings and burglaries over the last three weeks.

According to the HPD, the teens are between 14-18 years-old and are from all over the area. Lt. Scott Ryan with the HPD said every teen suspect has a prior history with law enforcement, with most of them being 'severe incidents.'

"These persons don't take it seriously," Ryan said. "It's a game to them, and in working with these other agencies and the areas that we've been and people that we've dealt with, we've seen a whole lot of other serious crimes going're going to see a whole lot of cases that are going to be resolved as a results of these arrests. We don't treat this as a game."

The arrests stem from two armed carjackings in Hendersonville on June 6 and 7.

Four teens were arrested after they carjacked a man coming home from work. Police said once the man complied with the armed teens and got down on the ground, they kicked him before taking off in his car.

The next day, three more teens put a gun in the face of a Hendersonville woman walking to her car to leave for work early in the morning on June 7.

In addition to those car jackings, police found evidence of at least 35 car burglaries in those neighborhoods. Still investigators said the extent of the crimes reaches well beyond Hendersonville.

"Clarksville, Nashville, Mt. Juliet, LaVergne, Smyrna, Murfreesboro; They're all over the place," Ryan said. "There are no boundaries. What we're learning is that Google Earth makes a wonderful road map for them to identify specific areas. They see it as a smorgasbord of a lot of homes and a lot of opportunities to steal stuff where people aren't locking their cars up."

Ryan stressed that unlocked vehicles with keys easy available made these Hendersonville neighborhoods and others more attractive to these car-hoppers.

"There are so many stolen vehicles involved in this as we have investigated into other jurisdictions, we've actually made discoveries of other stolen vehicles," Ryan said. "To my knowledge, everyone at this point has their vehicles back involving the cases in Hendersonville and the cases where we discovered other stolen vehicles in Nashville."

Hendersonville Police said these incidents instilled fear in the community for the last three weeks.

"Not just fear that they're going to be carjacked, but fear that these kids are going to get hurt by a homeowner who's frightened or startled when they come out and somebody's in their car digging through their stuff," Ryan said. "You never know what's going to happen. There are a lot of gun owners in our community, and it would be just as easy for one of them to engage in a shooting incident involving one of these youngsters. You're looking at two lives at that point."

Hendersonville Police Chief Mickey Miller said in cases like this, they're going to give all their resources and man power to catching those responsible and making the community feel safe.

"We are not going to quit," Miller said. "We will not get off your trail. We will go after you with everything we've got if you come here and commit these crimes."

"We're going to have to work on some of these local issues, but our first priority is when somebody comes up here and sticks a gun in one of our citizens' faces, that's our first target," Ryan said. "And we've just taken those off the road."

The mayor echoed both men's sentiment.

"If you come to Hendersonville and commit these types of crimes, we're going to catch you," said Jamie Clary, Hendersonville mayor. "We're going to prosecute you and you're going to jail."

Ryan said the young suspects were able to commit so many crimes partially because of a lack of accountability that started at home.

"They haven't been shown any accountability for their actions," Ryan said. "They treat it like it's a game, and they've been out here playing this game almost every night."

Police do no plan to release the names of the juvenile suspects, saying their identities are important to other parts of the investigation. Police plan to give out mug shots of the 18-year-old suspects involved at a later date.

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