OWENSBORO, Ky. (WEHT) A recent streak of criminal cases against juveniles in and around Owensboro are leaving some wondering if there are more crimes involving juveniles in the city and Daviess County.

The most recent instance happened along West 4th Street in Owensboro, where two juveniles were charged with weapons and drug related charges. But are there more crimes involving minors than in past years?

“I don’t think we’ve seen an increase as far as the calls in reference to juveniles that we’ve worked here at the sheriff’s office outside the city limits,” said Daviess County Sheriff Barry Smith. He also says those cases are more common in summer. Sheriff Smith adds juveniles who are repeat offenders are potentially responsible for some cases his department investigates.

“I think some of the uptick we’ve seen overall would be, if you really looked at it, would be with repeat offenders. Juveniles that we have problems with and we continue to have problems with,” he said.

Owensboro Police charged juveniles in four high profile investigations in the past month, including the most recent on West 4th this past Tuesday, and a robbery at Heartland Crossing Boulevard in mid-June. Back in February, Owensboro Police Chief Art Ealum told city commissioners during a meeting that juveniles were involved in many shots fired cases earlier this year. Some residents say it feels like juvenile related cases are happening more often.

“I think it’s going all over the country from what I read and see,” said Bryon Owen, who organizes the Owensboro Dust Bowl. He also says recent juvenile related crimes won’t change how security is done for the dust bowl which starts next Tuesday, and draws thousands to Kendall Perkins Park.

“Owensboro Police provides security. There may be other agencies that are not announced, but the main security in uniform would be by Owensboro Police,” he explained.

(This story was originally published on July 15, 2022)