Children and teens charged in Muscatine burglaries

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Kids ranging in age from nine to 18 years old are facing multiple charges in connection with several burglaries in Muscatine, Iowa.

Police say the burglaries all happened within the past month.

A nine-year-old, 11-year-old, 12-year-old and 14-year-old were arrested July 9, 2012.  They were each charged with third-degree burglary in connection with a break-in at the Muscatine Community YMCA at 1823 Logan Street.  Police said the investigation took about a month to complete, and that the children were each released to a guardian after their arrests.

Muscatine Police Department Lieutenant, Jeff Jirak says he was upset by the ages. "When you arrest a nine year old for a burglary, a felony style burglary, that's very disturbing."

The next day, two teens were charged in connection with burglaries to cars and residences in the area of the 1000 block of Climer Street.  Zachary Braasch, 18, who lives in the area of the burglaries, was charged with three counts of third-degree burglary and one count of attempted third-degree burglary.  He was held in the Muscatine County Jail.   A 16-year-old faces the same charges in the case.  That teen was arrested and then released to a guardian. 

A 17-year-old was arrested just before 4:30 a.m. Saturday, July 7, 2012 after someone reported the teen’s alleged suspicious behavior in the area of Indiana and Schley streets.  The teen was charged with third-degree burglary, curfew violation and interference with official acts.

Jirak says the string of crimes were not all related, rather different individual groups of children committing "crimes of opportunity." 

Police said items taken during a June 14, 2012 burglary in the 800 block of Climer Street were later found on a 14-year-old in Muscatine.  The teen was arrested Friday, July 6.  He was charged with second-degree theft and curfew violation. 

Anyone with information about these or other incidents in Muscatine should contact police there at (563) 263-9922, extension 608.  Callers can remain anonymous. 

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