VALDOSTA, Ga. – Five children, ranging in ages from six to 11, were arrested Wednesday for breaking into a home and stealing a gaming system.

On Wednesday, the Valdosta Police Department (VPD) charged five male juveniles with burglary. At least four of the children are related, according to a VPD spokesperson. The Department of Juvenile Justice later turned the children over to their parents to await juvenile court proceedings, reports stated.

According to police reports, VPD responded to a reported burglary at a home on Jan. 26. The home’s owner reportedly told police that she came home to find several children running out of her backyard. She then entered the house and discovered that an Xbox gaming system had been stolen. Detectives then gathered information from the homeowner and investigated the incident.

Police Chief Brian Childress said his detectives determined the kids intentionally broke into the home to commit a crime, and the children are currently being investigated for possible involvement in other burglaries in the area. In this incident, the stolen property was recovered, said Childress.

In light of the arrests, Childress is asking parents to speak to their children about the penalties of committing crimes, including burglary which is a felony offense in Georgia.

“Too many times we have no choice but to charge children for breaking into homes and those children, some of which are 17 years of age and considered an adult, end up with felony records,” said Childress. “At that point, they are facing an uphill battle when adults and trying to find jobs.”

Adam Floyd writes for the Valdosta (Ga.) Daily Times.

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