by: Kathryn Burcham Updated:
CHARLOTTE - Teen crime has decreased in Charlotte, despite recent high-profile cases with teen suspects that involve violent attacks.
Wednesday, 17-year-old Israel Jacobs appeared before a judge, one of three teenagers arrested in a brutal beating of a man during a robbery outside the Red Sea Grocery Store on Independence.
But that mugging, along with the carjacking and murder by five teenaged suspects in north Charlotte in early April, are the exceptions, not the rule, according to CMPD data.
Eyewitness News obtained new numbers from CMPD that show 1,441 arrests of youth ages 0-20 since Jan. 1, 2014.
In that same time period last year, officers arrested 1,583 youth, according to the data supplied by CMPD.
"When they do get caught up the first time, they don't understand the consequences of those charges," said Officer Adrian Johnson.
Johnson is one of many CMPD officers who have partnered up with the Urban League for a diversion program that offers GED classes, technical skills and life coaching.
Johnson believes diversion programs like that have led to the decrease in teen crime, and help first time offenders from re-offending.
"We encourage them to try to develop a positive attitude about life, staying in school, doing the right things, hanging around the right people," Johnson said.