New Mexico Police Arrest 11-year Old Boy Suspected in Violent, Monthlong Crime Spree

Rachel Acenas
By Rachel Acenas
June 10, 2024US News
New Mexico Police Arrest 11-year Old Boy Suspected in Violent, Monthlong Crime Spree
A police car in Reims, France on May 25, 2022. (Jose Hernandez/Shutterstock)

An 11-year-old boy suspected of committing a violent, monthslong crime spree has been arrested, according to authorities in New Mexico.

The Albuquerque Police Department (APD) said the boy was taken into custody late Thursday for a series of crimes which included car burglaries and shootings.

“I am grateful that we took this young suspect into custody without our officers having to use force,” APD Chief Harold Medina said in a statement. “Despite his age, this suspect is considered very dangerous because of his use of a firearm and his escalating violence,” he said.

“Disappointing to see an 11-year-old arrested for crimes – from burglary to shooting a firearm,” the police chief said in a post on social media platform X.

“But this armed individual’s behavior was escalating and he was a danger to the community. We need to do something about the toxic mix of guns and social media. Kids need consequences,” the police chief said.

Police released a timeline of his alleged crime spree, which began on May 5 when a Kia Forte was stolen.

A few days later, on May 12, a woman reported to authorities that there was a group of juveniles throwing rocks at a residence and attempting to break the windows of the home. She was struck in the leg, according to police.

That same day, a 12-year-old called the police and reported a similar situation. The caller identified some of the juveniles and told authorities that she recognized them as a group infamously known as the “Kia Boys.” The group of minors were known to frequent the area and cause trouble, according to her statement to police.

On May 17, APD responded to a burglary at a local business in which a witness saw a vehicle drive in reverse and crash into the front security door of the building. $15,000 in theft and damages were reported in the incident. The vehicle involved was later identified as a stolen Kia.

A shooting on May 29 was reported by a man who said he was shot by four juveniles in a Kia parked outside his home. The group drove away after the victim asked them to leave, but they later returned to his home and shot him. Authorities recovered a 9mm casing at the location.

Another shooting was reported on June 1 in which a male victim was shot in the hand. The weapon used in the shooting, a 9mm handgun, was found at the scene.

Police say that the “Kia Boys” are a criminal group of juvenile car thieves known to target Kias because they are easy to steal. According to authorities, they often brag about their car thefts on social media platforms such as TikTok.

“I hope the Legislature will take action to deal with the growing issue of young juveniles who are using guns and stealing cars, while trying to get attention on social media,” the police chief said.

The boy, whose identity has not been revealed due to his age, faces a slew of charges. This includes aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, conspiracy, shooting at or from a motor vehicle, shooting into an occupied dwelling, aggravated battery, unlawful possession of a weapon by a minor, criminal damage to property over $1,000, nonresidential burglary, and conspiracy to commit a fourth-degree felony.

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