Over the past week Prince George’s County Police officers arrested six boys in connection with two separate carjacking incidents. The boys were also charged with illegal firearm possession after police located ghost guns in their possession. The first arrest occurred at the end of last week when police located a vehicle that had been carjacked three days earlier. After making a felony traffic stop, officers located four teenaged boys from Washington D.C. inside the vehicle and also recovered a loaded ghost gun. All four were arrested and charged with multiple serious crimes, though it appears they will be charged as juveniles due to the fact that they were 15 at the time of the incident. It is unclear whether the juveniles were released to their parents or remain detained at a secure juvenile facility.
The four boys will cclappear at the Prince George’s County Circuit Court for their respective trials. While the cases will start out in the juvenile court, the State may choose to seek a discretionary waiver for some or all of the juveniles. Maryland law allows a judge to order the transfer of a case to adult court for a 15-year-old defendant if a finding is made that the child is not fit for juvenile rehabilitative measures. A child under 15 can only be prosecuted in adult court for an offense such as murder that carries life in prison. Juvenile discretionary waivers are rare, and in all likelihood would not be utilized for a carjacking case unless the juvenile has an extensive history of violence. Carjacking by definition is a serious offense, but if the facts are especially egregious the Court certainly could consider a discretionary waiver.
Just four days later Prince George’s County officers made yet another carjacking arrest. The suspects in this case were also juveniles, with one being a 16-year-old from Fort Washington, and the other a 17-year-old from Temple Hills. Police received a call for an attempted armed carjacking on April 3 at around 1:30 p.m. in District Heights. When officers arrived, they observed two suspects running from the scene and were ultimately able to take them into custody. Search incident to arrest revealed that both juveniles were in possession of loaded ghost guns. In the first three months of 2023 alone 32 juveniles and 19 adults have been arrested for carjacking in Prince George’s County. This alarming trend