ANTELOPE VALLEY— More than two dozen youths were busted for skipping school Tuesday (Dec. 4) as part of a truancy sweep aimed at stemming valley-wide burglaries, authorities said.
Additional arrests made during the sweep included one juvenile cited for cigarettes, three misdemeanor warrant arrests, one felony warrant arrest, two arrests for marijuana, two arrests for possession of methamphetamines and two burglary arrests, according to a press release issued by the Palmdale Station.
The operation, which was planned by the Lancaster Station Burglary Suppression team, was part of the continuing efforts of the Antelope Valley Crime Fighting initiatives (AVCFI).
Each of the 25 truants was identified and issued a citation before being returned to school. They were also interviewed about why they were not in school.
Many admitted they were just not interested in school for the day, while others claimed to be on their way there after oversleeping, sheriff’s officials said.
“Several of the youth detained claimed to be on their way to school, and yet, they were found several miles from their assigned school, walking in the opposite direction from it,” said Lieutenant Dave Oliva, from the Lancaster Station.
Oliva said the additional arrests made during the sweep will further crime fighting efforts within the region.
“The hope is that in following up with those arrested it will lead to investigations that will continue [to] make the community safer,” he said.
This operation was one of several crime fighting initiatives planned through the umbrella of the AVCFI, a coordinated effort between the Lancaster and Palmdale stations and other Sheriff’s Department resources, such as COPS Bureau, Safe Streets Bureau and the Parole Compliance teams.
Within the past three weeks, the teams have conducted several sweeps that have included probation and parole compliance checks, gang sweeps and now a truancy sweep.
Lieutenant Larry Gregg, the coordinator of the program said, “It is important that the community realize that we, the Sheriff’s Department, are committed to making a safer community by taking those that prey upon others off the street.”
Gregg said he recently received an email from a mother complimenting the efforts of the AVCFI, and writing of her son who she believes may be out of compliance in regards to his parole.
“It is important to receive this kind of feedback and act upon it,” Gregg said. “That information was forwarded to both local and regional teams for follow up.”
“The bottom line is this: if someone is less than willing to listen to the advice of their mother then we, as law enforcement, should ensure that he is complying with terms and conditions set forth by the State,” Gregg added.
The community is an important aspect and member of the local crime fighting efforts, Gregg said.
Residents are encouraged to contact the local sheriff’s stations anytime they witness or suspect a crime. Information can be provided directly to the Palmdale Sheriff’s Station by calling 661-272-2400, or it can be reported anonymously by calling Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.