CLEVELAND- The FOX 8 I-Team has found thousands of arrest warrants for suspects who committed crimes as juveniles, yet no police agency is regularly going after them. The crimes include everything from murder to robbery to loitering.
The most recent juvenile court figures from earlier this year show nearly 5,000 open warrants for juveniles. Those warrants include more than 11,000 charges.
For example, we found four warrants for murder, 68 for rape and 202 for robbery. Some of those warrants date back to the mid-80s. Of course, the kids in those cases are adults now.
The I-Team did a spot check of the records of some of the people wanted in old juvenile cases. We found some convicted again and again as adults. So how are they still wanted for juvenile crimes?
Obviously, those suspects slipped through the cracks even in the adult system.
Cuyahoga County Prosecutors said, right now, they are kicking around a few different plans for holding teens accountable for old crimes, no matter their ages at this point. This would hold true, especially in the most serious cases.
A spokesperson for the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department said part of the problem also is limited space at the county’s juvenile detention center. We’re told the sheriff’s department follows priorities set by the court.
But to show you another example of much work there is to clear up the backlog of warrants, the I-Team went to some addresses of the wanted juveniles. At one home, a woman told us the male wanted in a 2001 weapons case had since passed away.
A spokesperson for they Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Department told us part of the problem is, Cuyahoga County only has so many beds at its juvenile facility and you can't house kid inmates with adults. The Sheriff said they follow priorities set by juvenile court.