By Bonnie Culverhouse
During his report Monday night, Minden Police Chief Steve Cropper told members of the city council that five juveniles were arrested recently for attempting to break into a local pawnshop.
“It was around 11:30 to midnight,” the chief said. “We don’t know what they were after, but that particular pawn shop has a lot of guns.”
However, the juveniles already had at least one firearm, he said.
“They attempted to shoot off the padlock on the iron gate,” Cropper said. “It’s a wonder a bullet didn’t ricochet and hit one of them. We picked up bullets all over the ground.”
Cropper said the boys, who were around 16 to 17 years old were caught on video, allowing positive identification. They have been turned over to the juvenile court system.
District D councilman Michael Roy requested a workshop with the council, Cropper and City Judge Sherb Sentell.
“I think we need to revisit the curfew ordinance,” Roy said. “That’s a priority that we’ve let go by the wayside as a council. I truly think it needs to be addressed. These kids are getting younger and younger.”
Cropper responded to District E councilwoman Pam Bloxom’s questions concerning the most recent gangs.
“They are just like the other gangs we’ve been dealing with, but they are 12 to 15 years old,” said the chief.
Bloxom then read a prepared statement to the council.
“For months the mayor and two councilmen have attempted to pass a curfew ordinance for children under the age of 17 years old within the city limits of Minden,” Bloxom said. “Still, three of our own council members refuse to vote to adopt this timely and necessary ordinance.
“Tonight, I am saying for the record that I supported this proposal each time it came up for a vote,” she continued. “Going forward, not me, not Michael Roy, not Mayor (Terry) Gardner, but the remaining councilmen will have blood on their hands when Minden’s youth are involved in local killings.”
District B councilwoman Terika Williams-Walker responded to Bloxom’s statement with one word, “Wow,” she said. Then again, “Wow.”
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