Sheriff says Huber Heights AT&T robbery part of local juvenile gang problem
DAYTON, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) - A brazen armed robbery was caught on camera in Huber Heights last week, but Montgomery County Sheriff Phil Plummer said it's just one of the recent crimes committed by gang members.
He said there are half a dozen gangs in our area with 100 members, and a lot of the information officers are able to gather comes from their own social media posts.
"We do have a juvenile gang problem here in this community," he said.
"We know who they are," the sheriff continued. "It's a group of individuals terrorizing communities; they're organized they know what they're doing. These gangs are very good at doing armed robberies, home invasions, burglaries to your home and they're robbing cell phone stores."
Plummer included the suspects in the recent Huber Heights AT&T store robbery.
"Most of these kids are hard core gang members. We know they've been in these gangs for over four years," Plummer said.
He said one of those teens was also involved in a 2016 car theft where the owner hung on for dear life for several miles.
Plummer said gangs are also carjacking drivers and breaking into gun stores, and they aren't worried about the consequences.
"So they think the system's a joke," he said.
To help solve the gang problem, the sheriff said there needs to be proactive programs like The Potter's House church on Germantown Street.
"We normally see 80 young people flooding here on a Monday night to see what we have to say about changing their lives," the Potter's House Pastor Mark McGuire said.
The Potter's House has a program called "Dayton Urban Young Life" for 10 to 18 year olds.
"Many of the young people who have said they were a part of some of these so-called clubs and gangs in the city, they're here," said McGuire.
They get life enrichment and bible classes, plus have fun there.
"It's a loving atmosphere, but it's also a no tolerance atmosphere," he said.
"If you have a child or a relative that you think's in a gang, get them to us and we'll get them into these programs cause ultimately someone's going to die with this," said Plummer.
The sheriff won't say the names of the gangs.
He said that would give them credibility.