Concerns grow as more kids linked to crimes in Western Washington

TUKWILA, Wash. — Crimes linked to kids are a growing concern in Western Washington.

Last week, police arrested a 12-year-old girl in connection with a mushroom farm fire in Thurston County.

In Snoqualmie, seven teens were captured after escaping from Echo Glen Children’s Center.

In Tukwila, police say a 12-year-old girl was involved in five attacks since February. Officers report the girl “laughing and joking” about the crimes.

“She’s going to have to account for those crimes,” Tukwila Police Chief Eric Drever said. “The hope is that we can deter and prevent this behavior from happening in the future.”

Police say elderly women were victims in two of the attacks.

On Thursday, the King County Prosecutor’s Office will decide what charges the girl will face.

This year, younger and younger criminals are being accused of increasingly violent crimes.

“We had an incident with a 12-year-old with a stolen van and a stolen handgun,” said Pierce County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Darren Moss.

In Shoreline, five teens were arrested after a string of armed robberies led to a police chase.

In Bellevue, four teens were wanted in an armed carjacking.

“We want to see our youth grow up in a safe environment and flourish, but if our young people are the ones committing these really bad crimes, the punishment is going to be a lot harsher for them,” said Moss.

Two of three teens are on the run after they robbed four businesses and attacked a gas station clerk on Tuesday, according to Kitsap County deputies.