LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A Las Vegas teen was accused of taking part in a crime spree where Asian individuals were targeted.
The 8 News Now Investigators attended a juvenile hearing where the teen was certified as an adult meaning his case was moved to the adult system.
Clark County District Court allowed the 8 News Now Investigators to record the hearing without identifying the teen or his parent.
Clark County Chief Deputy District Attorney Kimberly Adams referred to 27 charges, at least four robberies since April, and 17 victims over seven months.
The teen committed the crimes when he was 16 and 17 years old, according to investigators.
“These burglaries are so extreme,” Adams said.
Safes, cash, and items like jewelry were stolen from victims of varying ages, according to the Las Vegas Metro Police Department.
“…included a grandmother who did not speak English watching her infant daughter and 14-year-old who was home alone, both of whom were held at gunpoint while the subjects searched their homes,” Judge Sunny Bailey said.
Investigators also found a list of homes that were burglarized along with homes that were going to be burglarized, police said.
The teen was also accused of pointing a gun at another customer at a car wash last May and also causing a crash which resulted in injuries to three people a few days later.
The teen’s defense attorney, Christine Armstrong had argued against sending him to the adult system.
“If we’re putting him in the adult system all we’re doing is exposing him to more bad people who are going to be bad influences,” Armstrong said. “I don’t think the charges alone are enough for certification. There are so many factors at play.”
The teen’s challenges included abuse as a child, drug use and mental health issues, and a father who died, according to Bailey who also considered previous evaluations.
“Dr. Smith opined the results of his evaluation reveals his forensic psychological evaluation revealed a marked degree of psychopathology,” Bailey said.
The teen’s mother was present during the hearing.
“It appears Mom covers for him and enables him. When police were investigating the crime sprees, the family has not been cooperative with probation,” Adams said.
Bailey also considered the teen’s experience in Nevada’s juvenile system.
In 2021, he was accused of stealing from a 78-year-old man. He received probation.
The following year, he was accused of getting on a school bus and threatening to shoot the driver and anyone else on the bus if the bus showed up even five minutes late with his little brother again. He was sent to Spring Mountain Youth Camp which did not work out.
“He had to be removed for non-compliance at Spring Mountain and is given the benefit of being returned to the community. That alone is shocking,” Adams said. “Probation has tried for two years to work with him.”
The 8 News Now Investigators have learned that the teen appeared in adult court. Bail was set at $25,000. Conditions included electronic monitoring and the teen was ordered to stay away from all victims and prohibited from having weapons. He is expected to appear back in court on Nov. 30.
There is at least one co-defendant. The 8 News Now Investigators requested additional information from Metro Police to learn more.