Written by: Victoria Hayward, Evan Johnson, Justin Pearce and Jason MacDonald
Residents of Thurman Circle and Fleming Drive can breathe a little easier after arrests have been made in connection with recent criminal activity.
13 teenagers have been arrested and face 40 charges after a police investigation connected a string of assaults and break-ins.
Students of Fanshawe College and Western University were targeted by the group, and were victims of assault and theft. The age of the perpetrators range from 14-18. 12 of the accused cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
There are two incidents involving victims being pepper sprayed, several reports of break-ins and robberies. One break-in, the suspect was reported with what appeared to be a handgun.
Thurman and Fleming are off-campus houses, but are densely populated with Fanshawe students.
Madison Deleary lives in the Fleming area and became familiar with some of the suspects. She says that her sister was jumped by a few teenage males, and on a separate occasion her sister’s phone was stolen after being approached by the same group.
“If you knew what was going on in the area, you knew who they were.”
She also says that she recognized a few while at a local Mac’s Convenience store (now known as Circle K). Deleary says that they appeared to be bragging about committing crimes in the area.
The police stated that the group arrested are in no way affiliated with a gang, or any gang-related violence.
Luke is a resident of Thurman street, where the break-in involving what appeared to be a handgun, says he would like more police presence.
“I would like more security I think. More patrolling.”
Luke goes on to say that the police would patrol the Thurman/Fleming area for the beginning of the school year to set a tone, but he would like to see more police presence throughout the year.
The charges that have been set against the individuals include theft under $5000, assault with a weapon and administering a noxious substance.