The Walnut Creek police Department arrests roughly 200 juveniles per year. About 35%
of those arrests come from theft related crimes and a vast majority of those arrests come
from the downtown area of Walnut Creek where juveniles are often arrested for
shoplifting in the downtown stores. Most of these arrests occur after school or on the
weekends and many arrests involve two or more juveniles together.
Who are your friends and would they put you in that situation? It is important to make
good choices about who you hang out with and what you choose to do in your spare time
together. Every police officer has heard it said “Well, my friends told me that it was easy
to steal at this store.” They say this while sitting in a Loss Prevention Office with
handcuffs behind their backs or while at the police department while an officer is taking
their photo and fingerprinting them (booking them). Guess it wasn’t as easy as your
“friends” told you it was.
Nearly 29% of the arrests involve alcohol and/or drugs. Kids are often arrested in the
downtown area when they are found to be under the influence of alcohol and drugs.
Again, these arrests come after school hours or on the weekends.
Many arrests involving possession of drugs for juveniles in Walnut Creek occur in the
schools during school time (Kevin Collins note: this is very rare at WCI). Campus
administrators are granted the authority to search backpacks and lockers if they feel that
there may be drugs, weapons or other evidence of illegal activities. These searches can
result in the arrest of the student. There is a no tolerance policy for drugs, alcohol, and
weapons on campus and all cases are referred to the juvenile authorities.
With crime on the rise we have seen an increase in robberies. A robbery is where
property is taken from someone through force or fear. Kids are often victims of robberies
by other juveniles. The hot item to be stolen? IPods. Often victims are walking down
trails or in areas with few other people around. Their iPods are in their ears and the next
thing they know they are be shoved to the ground and their iPod stolen.
Be careful when you are walking. That iPod may be a great way to keep yourself
entertained but you also cannot hear what is going on around you. Keep your eyes and
ears open and be aware of your surroundings. You are always safer in a group than by
Many kids become victims of the above crimes and others after dark. It is one of the
reasons that Walnut Creek has a curfew. Juveniles are more at risk when it gets dark and
more apt to get hurt or become a victim in the evening hours. The curfew in Walnut
Creek is from 10 pm to 6 am on Sunday through Thursday. On Friday and Saturday the
curfew is from 12 am (midnight) to 6 am.
Use good common sense. Be safe and aware of your surroundings when walking. If you
can, walk with friends. Use good judgment when selecting your friends. A good friend
would never ask you to do something that would get you in trouble. There is no
substitute for common sense. If something seems wrong, or doesn’t seem like a good
idea, then guess what? It isn’t.
Detective Shawn Wallace
Walnut Creek Police Department