Police departments work to address repeat youth offenders

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FAIRFIELD -

The Fairfield and Bridgeport police departments are trying to address the growing problem of repeat youth offenders.

Police say in the past year they've seen a rise in car thefts -- and the people being arrested for those crimes are often between the ages of 12 and 17. Those cars are often used for robberies and shootings, according to police.

On June 15, Bridgeport police say a teenager died after leading them on a chase that ended in a crash on Route 8. The car was being driven by a 15-year-old and was involved in an armed robbery just the day before. Police say several guns were recovered from the car.

Police say teenagers who commit one crime will often go on to commit even more. They are pushing lawmakers to tighten up juvenile laws.

"Right now, there is no accountability. There's no direction," says Fairfield Police Chief Gary MacNamara. "These individuals are committing felonies and then they're out the next day to commit those felonies again. Sometimes they're out within the hour."

Both MacNamara and Bridgeport Police Chief AJ Perez say that while they do not advocate for jail time, they do believe children deserve a chance to be rehabilitated and a chance to become productive members of society.

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