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Judge applauds parents who turned in son

May 15, 1997

By MARLO BARNHART

Staff Writer

The parents of a 14-year-old boy who broke into a woman's home in February were praised Wednesday in Washington County Juvenile Court for turning their son in to police.

"These parents did their duty and they should be commended," said Washington County Assistant State's Attorney Susan Lochbaum.

In addition to calling the Washington County Sheriff's Department, the parents made their son return the stolen items and write a note of apology to the woman.

The boy admitted to one count of burglary. The other charges were dismissed.

Judge John H. McDowell allowed him to remain at home pending completion of a pre-disposition report.

The Feb. 11 burglary in the 10100 block of Crystal Falls Drive was discovered by the woman when she returned home at 9:17 p.m., according to Lochbaum.

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"She found a duffel bag and suitcase inside the door and a note saying `I'm sorry' and that the broken windows would be paid for," Lochbaum said.

It turned out that the 14-year-old and another teen had broken into the house just for the "rush." They told a friend who told the boys' parents, Lochbaum said.

Among the items taken and returned were $125 in cash, a VCR and other items totaling $576, Lochbaum said.

The victim said she and her daughter have lost their feeling of security in their home because of the incident.

"I was troubled that they wouldn't have returned the stuff if they hadn't gotten caught," she said. She said the parents of the boys made sure she was reimbursed for her losses.

When it was his turn to speak, the 14-year-old turned, faced the woman and apologized to her in court.

McDowell said it was a serious, intentional act on the part of the boys.

The other youth hasn't appeared in court yet on his charges.

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