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CMPD detective explains why boy was arrested for stealing mom’s Pop-Tarts

By Rad Berky
WCNC-TV

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police say the arrest of a 13-year-old boy charged with stealing his mother’s Pop-Tarts was the best choice for all involved.

“I see a lot of parents who have a problem with their children,” said CMPD detective Keith Way. “It becomes really desperate.”

Way was involved in the case of the juvenile boy who was charged with misdemeanor larceny for stealing his mother’s Pop-Tarts Monday.

Way said the arrest was based on discussions with the mother and the boy about past disciplinary problems.

“The totality of the circumstances and I think at that particular time that was the best choice that was made,” said Way.

The boy will not be sent to regular criminal court now. Instead, he is being referred to a new program aimed at stopping kids from starting a life of crime.

Sgt. David Schwob, who administers the program, said “We take discipline cases, runaways...we take other cases that wouldn’t necessarily meet the criteria to go to criminal court and we send them to the Diversion Court Program.”

The program -- which just started this year -- is for kids ages six to 16.

“We bring in families as well. It is important to have the family members involved in this because there’s been a disconnect at the home and we are working to try to rehabilitate and refocus them,” said Sgt. Schwob.

If he completes the program, the boy -- and others like him -- will not have a permanent criminal record.

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