Opinion: Teenagers

POSTED: 04/19/12 12:22 PM

Once upon a time, teenagers were just up to no good. We know, because we were teenagers once ourselves. The teenagers we meet these days in the courtroom seem to be of a different brand. They have taken being up to no good to the next level, and that is bad news all around.

Take the case of Jeremiah Mills, a 17-year-old that is, as the saying goes, not yet dry behind his ears. He owed somebody $700 for ganja.

Personally we think: that’s a lot of ganja. On second thought, it seems that ganja-suppliers work with generous lines of credit that would send a regular bank into bankruptcy in a heartbeat.

The repo-strategy of these ganja dealers seems however to be a bit unorthodox. They don’t send a collection agency, and they don’t send friendly reminders either. The day they want their money, they use the best scare tactics they can think off.

Threatening people is a crime. Young Mills may have been aware of that, we’re not sure, but he did not think the situation through very well. He did not go to the police to complain, probably thinking that the cure could prove to be worse than the disease.

Instead, he took a different approach. He got somehow hold of a nail gun and then he paid a visit to a company called Global Wealth Trade. This is a multi level marketing company that sells among others watches and jewelry. The teenager’s mother is a reseller for GWT.

Our indebted teenager registered his name with a GWT-rep saying that he wanted to be “part of the program.” Soon afterwards, he pulled the nail gun and scared the living daylights out of the rep. He extorted a couple of expensive watches, a necklace and a ring from the frightened woman and took off.

The question here is: what on earth was this guy thinking? Did he really think that stealing something like $13,000 worth of merchandise is no skin of the nose of any company? On top he did not just leave a calling card – he left his own name. so catching the culprit was no big deal.

This is one young dude on the wrong track. Last year he took part in a burglary in Beacon Hill, for which he was sentenced in October. At the time of the burglary he was drunk, so he did not even remember what he’d done.

We sympathize with the desperation of this guy’s mom. What to do to get such a young dumbass on the right track? The conditional prison sentence he received last year apparently did not impress him. He did not abide by the conditions, and within a couple of months he committed his second crime.

What we see here is a development that makes us think of embezzlers: they always start small and when they don’t get caught they start stealing more and more. This young man went from burglarizing under the influence to an armed robbery whereby he used a frightening weapon: a nail gun.

Now young Mills has been sentenced to 18 months, but 15 months are suspended. This means that he will soon roam the streets again. And then what?
We recognize bad news when we see it – and we think that this youngster is definitely bad news. He will commit more crimes, and he will be back in court one day. Then he will get a serious sentence and he will get to spend time behind bars with some real criminals in Pointe Blanche.

But giving up all positive expectations on someone so young seems a bit harsh, so we won’t do that. Instead, we have an urgent request to Jeremiah: please prove us wrong.

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