MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Home invasions, robberies, and even murder, all occurring in broad daylight. Adding insult to injury, many of the suspects in these crimes are barely old enough to drive. So, what is going on in the Mid-South?
"Fear, fear works, and when you begin to be more brazen, people begin to be more afraid," said Pastor DeAndre Brown of LifeLine to Success.
Brown works with troubled teens to try and turn around their lives. He says he sees firsthand a trend toward more bold and brazen criminals.
"They don't understand that their future now has pretty much been ruined because of the decision they made probably in the heat of the moment."
A recent study found more than half of the violent crimes in Memphis are committed by someone under 24.
"There has been an increase in what we call petty crimes, crimes of the moment," Brown said.
Those crimes include a recent purse-snatching in Horn Lake, Mississippi, where a man jumped out of his car, opened the passenger door of a Jeep, and stole a woman's purse all while she was pumping gas. In addition, a man was recently robbed as he walked out of a popular East Memphis grocery store.
This week, a teen was also murdered outside a community center.
All three crimes remain unsolved.
"You don't know who to trust, you got to protect yourself. You have to protect your family by any means," said Mika Tate, a Memphis resident.