'Where are the parents?' Children ages 6-15 found in vehicle car - KMOV.com

'Where are the parents?' Children ages 6-15 found in vehicle carjacked in Soulard

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

St. Louis police are holding parents accountable after five kids were allegedly found riding in a car that two of them allegedly carjacked.

Two boys, ages 15 and 12, are accused of committing a carjacking in the 1900 block of Menard, in the Soulard neighborhood, around 10:30 Tuesday night. Following the carjacking, the victim flagged down a nearby officer and reported the incident.

The carjacked vehicle was located by authorities after it struck a curb at Seventh and Geyer.

According to police, five children, including the two suspects, were seen attempting to run from the scene. All five juveniles were found by police.

St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce told News 4 she has seen young people, younger and younger each day, initiating criminal activity, or even just along for the ride. Joyce said there is a breakdown in society in terms of parents and role models.

"It's not going to be solved by police, not solved by prosecutors. We have laws, we have punishments for neglecting children, but as a society, we need to take a step back and figure out why this is happening."

St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson said the parents of the three other children that were inside the vehicle, a 6-year-old boy, a 13-year-old boy and a 15-year-old girl, were given a summons for Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor.

"Where are the parents that would let their 6-year-old ride with a 15-year-old, 13-year-old and 12-year-old in a stolen car that they carjacked from someone, parents have to get involved," Dotson told News 4.

The carjacking suspects were turned over to juvenile authorities.

"This is a culmination of two generations now of parents who were not parented... so if you were not parented you really don't have parenting skills. A child doesn't come with a manual," said James Clark of Better Family Life.

Investigators are currently working to determine if the carjacking suspects are responsible for five additional incidents.

"I don't think this is a problem that's going to be solved with tougher laws, there's plenty of tough laws on the books," said Joyce. "You can't police your way into better parenting, (or) prosecute your way into better parenting."

Parents charged in the case face 90 days in jail. Joyce said instead of putting parents behind bars, she would rather have them take a parenting class to improve their ability to be a role model for their children.

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