Vidalia waits on charges for teens

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 23, 1999

VIDALIA, La. – Vidalia police will wait to pursue charges of possession of stolen things or felony theft against two Natchez teens until Adams County Youth Court has finished trying the same boys on larceny charges — a process that can take several weeks.

&uot;We’ll interview them after Natchez is through with them,&uot; Lt. Bobby Sheppard said Thursday. &uot;And depending on whether they admit to stealing the guns or not, we’ll charge them with possession of stolen things or felony theft.&uot;

Police believe the 14-year-old stole a 2000 Chrysler Sebring from the showroom of Gardner Motor Company, on Seargent S. Prentiss Drive, over the weekend. They are believed to have stolen two semi-automatic assault rifles from Concordia Pawn & Gun Shop, in Vidalia on Monday.

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The guns were found with the pawn shop’s tags still on them, Sheppard said. Natchez Police Chief Willie Huff would not say where the guns were found.

&uot;The (pawn) shop was busy Monday, so the owner’s not sure how the guns were stolen,&uot;&160;Sheppard said. &uot;They didn’t know the guns were missing until Natchez police called them.&uot;

Police found the car after the 14-year-old allegedly tried to rob McRae’s in Natchez Tuesday, piling $250 worth of clothes at the store’s door before grabbing them and running out. The boy dropped the clothes in the parking lot, police said.

A witness connected the teen with the stolen car. Police believe the 15-year-old stole a car tag for the vehicle Monday. The description of the shoplifter helped police locate the suspects, whose parents turned in them in to police. The teens’ names cannot be used because they are juveniles.

Adams County Youth Court Judge John Hudson cannot discuss specific cases. But in general, he said it can take anywhere from three weeks to one-and-a-half months for a case to be processed through Youth Court.

The process begins with an intake interview of the youth and his guardians and ends with a hearing to determine the youth’s punishment if he is found guilty, Hudson said.