CRIME BLOTTER

Renton juvenile crime skyrocketing, one tactic up 900%, says chief

Mar 21, 2024, 7:01 PM

Image: A Renton Police Department vehicle....

A Renton Police Department vehicle. (Photo courtesy of Renton Police Department)

(Photo courtesy of Renton Police Department)

Juvenile crime is skyrocketing in Renton.

“There’s no other way to put it, but what we are seeing is more and more juveniles involved in violent and property crimes. In some cases, rates are doubling and tripling year over year,” Renton Police Chief Jon Schuldt said in an X post on Wednesday.

It’s a stark message about the current juvenile crime problem in Renton and the trend appears to be getting worse.

More from James Lynch: Garfield High School parents hold rally surrounding gun violence

The chief’s message was posted the day after two 15-year-olds were arrested for driving a stolen car and carrying a loaded handgun.

Stark numbers show rise in juvenile crime in Renton

The numbers are startling. From 2022 to 2023 juvenile assaults were up 40%, stolen vehicles were up 342% and armed robberies of gas stations were up 900% for the twelve month period.

“If it’s allowed to continue, we’ll start losing businesses and then we won’t get the sales tax revenue that we need to hire police officers,” Former Renton City Council member Randy Corman said.

Corman, now retired, served on the Renton City Council for 28 years. He’s the longest serving council member in Renton history.

He cites two things: a lack of consequences for young offenders and too few police officers to handle the growing number of juvenile cases.

“We’ve had a great deal of building permit activity, a building boom and when that’s happened, we have doubled the size of our building department. Here we have crime, which has doubled and we have not doubled the size of our police department,” Corman said.

Corman also said he’s not being critical of Renton police. He said it’s an unfortunate reality facing most police departments around the state and the country.

“We’re falling behind in accountability. We’re not able to hold perpetrators of crimes, big and small, accountable the way we used to and as a result, I think it created a little bit more of an open season,” Corman said.

Latest on crime: Drones will be used to combat graffiti after Inslee signed new bill

Schuldt seemed to agree.

“As a society, we must figure out how to curb this trend. Our young people need help and guidance, and they need to be held accountable for their actions. They realize there aren’t any meaningful consequences, and there’s no deterrence,” Schuldt said.

You can read more of James Lynch’s stories here. Follow James on X, formerly known as Twitter, or email him here.

Crime Blotter

Image: A Seattle Police Department vehicle and yellow police tape can be seen outside Garfield High...

KIRO Newsradio staff

Why has no one been arrested in the Garfield High School shooting?

It's been several days and still no arrests have been made in the deadly Garfield High School shooting. Many are asking "Why?"

1 day ago

ingraham high shooting...

Frank Sumrall

Suspect in 2022 Ingraham High School shooting pleads guilty to first-degree murder

The teenage suspect in the Ingraham High School shooting from 2022 officially pled guilty to three felony charges Monday, June 10.

2 days ago

Image: Drugs, guns and money were seized as part of a large investigation led by the DEA and the Se...

Steve Coogan

Year-long Washington probe yields 84,000 fentanyl pills, hundreds of pounds of drugs

Four Seattle-area men with ties to Central and South America were arrested in a long probe related to drugs, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

2 days ago

Photo: A Bremerton man who made 20 "swatting" calls around the U.S. and in Canada, prompting real e...

Associated Press

Bremerton man sentenced for 20 ‘swatting’ calls of false threats in US, Canada

A Bremerton man who made 20 "swatting" calls around the U.S. and in Canada, prompting real emergency responses, has been sentenced.

2 days ago

Image: Yellow "Do not cross" police tape can be seen at a recent crime scene in Seattle....

Steve Coogan

Multiple weekend Seattle shootings leave 1 dead, 3 injured

Three shootings in Seattle between Saturday night and early Sunday left a man dead and three other people injured.

2 days ago

missing man grave...

Frank Sumrall

Body of missing man found in shallow, unmarked grave near Nisqually River

Detectives in the South Sound have found the body of a missing man from Thurston County in a shallow, unmarked grave.

3 days ago

Renton juvenile crime skyrocketing, one tactic up 900%, says chief