Prison demanded for gang behind 200 robberies
The Public Prosecution East Netherlands demanded prison sentences against three members of a criminal youth gang from Culemborg, Thursday, before the Amsterdam court.The suspects, ages 19-21, heard sentences ranging from 32 to 50 months for burglaries and attempted burglaries. Earlier this week a 17-year-old was sentenced to 21 months youth detention with no possibility of parole.
A total of 6 core members of the gang will be tried over the course of this week and the next. Some of the members are still minors. The charges range from burglary, laundering, and participating in a criminal organization, to trading stolen goods.
Terweijde in Culemborg was suffering from a wave of burglaries in 2012 and 2013, with the number of burglaries tripling in the first half of 2012, compared to the previous year.
The Prosecutor made it clear there was no doubt in his mind the burglaries caused a serious disruption of the order. The gang, young as they may be, had developed into a full-grown criminal organization, burglarizing in a quick and not so subtle way, leaving residents afraid to speak up.
Besides committing punishable deeds, the gang was also a source of extreme nuisance in their own neighborhood, not to mention a bad influence on other youth. The Public Prosecution considers addressing criminal youth gangs a priority. The prosecution is looking into, not only punishing the members of the gang, but to retrieve their loot as well.