LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department held a news conference Thursday morning to address recent carjackings and vehicle burglaries in the valley.
According to LVMPD Summerlin Area Command Captain Fred Haas, the incidents are occurring across the Las Vegas Valley rather than in a particular area.
Haas said there have been 17 carjackings so far this year. "That's a number that's not acceptable."
He said that several of the incidents have resulted in arrests. However, he added that most of the individuals committing the carjackings have been juveniles.
Haas said juveniles as young as 14 and 15 years old. Most recently, according to Haas, they had a series of carjackings take place where three individuals were taken into custody after doing carjackings every night on Feb. 4 and 5. They were taken into custody on Feb. 6 as they were going to do another carjacking in the area, according to Haas.
Of the three people involved, Haas said two of them were juveniles.
Haas noted that these trends are increasing nationally as well across the country.
"One thing we have to do as a community is get around these kids," Haas said. "They're not in school, they've got a lot of free time, and Metro is working with intervention officers to get out there and make contact with these kids before they go down this road of violence, this road of gangs and destruction of their lives. We need to make sure we're getting out there to get them the help they need and the services they need that they would usually get through school district where it was identified early that we're finding later."
Haas added that of the 17 that have occurred thus far this year in the Las Vegas Valley, nine of them are related to multiple events.
He added that they've seen a lot of violence associated with the carjackings.
Haas added that in addition to the carjackings, they've seen a trend in vehicle burglaries involving juveniles. "Several of these crews of individuals have been taken into custody and they almost all involve juvenile crimes."
Haas asked residents to note make it easy for these groups. He emphasized the need to lock cars and make sure people aren't storing firearms in their vehicles.
"If you see something in your neighborhood that doesn't belong, makes sure you call the police and report it to us."