Juveniles arrested in Lake Talquin robberies

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By Alice Du Pont

Three juveniles, ages 16 and 17 years old and who live in the Lake Talquin area, were arrested July 13 after they admitted to Gadsden County Sheriff's Office investigators that they burglarized two homes and four businesses in recent weeks.

But because it was the first offense for the teenagers, they were released to their parents. The three have been charged with four counts each of burglary, one count each of grand theft and four counts each of criminal mischief.

"They didn't score out high enough to be taken into detention," said GCSO Inv. Larry Smith. Juvenile crimes are scored on a point system which is used by authorities at the Juvenile Assessment Center in Tallahassee to determine if children and teens can be detained.

In one night, according to Smith, one female and two males broke into The Hart Lounge, Ingram's Marina, the First Cast Store and the Whippoorwill Restaurant and Lounge.

"They took a variety of liquor, beer, cigarettes and snacks, about $300 dollars worth all together. We got most of property back except for the little they drank. They stashed it on the side of the road on Bacon Place, which you could see from the street. They showed us where they put it," Smith said.

According to a report released by the GSCO, Inv. Paul McMichael responded to a to a burglary at The Hart Lounge to find that someone had entered the business by pushing out a  window air conditioning unit. According to the owner, the burglars took a white Igloo ice chest containing a large amount of beer, as well as Jose Cuervo Tequila, Bacardi Rum, Southern Comfort Whiskey, peppermint Schnapps, Seagrams Vodka, OFC Whiskey and other alcohol.

After leaving The Hart, the trio went to Ingram's Marina and The Whippoorwill, where they took cigarettes and alcohol. One of the juveniles broke a window to enter First Cast but abandoned the burglary when the alarm went off. Smith said nothing was taken from the First Cast store but one of the juveniles suffered cuts to his legs and arms from the broken glass.

Two weeks earlier a homeowner in the area returned from vacation to find her home burglarized and the only things taken were alcoholic beverages and snacks.                        

Smith said right down the street on Dante Court, the two males went onto a private porch and and took large quantities of beer.

Tips from residents in the area led the arrests.