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Benton, IL

Police arrest 8-year-old boy

Police arrest 8-year-old boy
By: Arnold Wyrick

Benton, IL - When you think of burglars in the night, an 8 year old boy is probably not one image you'd come up with.  But police in Benton, Illinois say they arrested an 8-year-old boy for breaking into homes.

The break-ins occurred from midnight until 8 am Sunday morning.  At one of the homes police say the boy cut through a screen with a knife.

News of the young burglar on the prowl have some residents in disbelief.

"I think it's pretty messed up that an 8 year old would do it.  I mean you have to look at the parents on it.  It's still no exception for an adult to do it.  So I think the punishment should be the same for an 8 year old.  And I also think they should look at the parents for it," says Brandon Wittkopp of Benton, Illinois.

He lives just across the street from the second home reportedly broken into by the young boy.

The homeowner tells Heartland News the boy simply walked into their home through an unlocked door.  They'd left the door unlocked so their son could get in after work Saturday night.  When their daughter came in around midnight she woke her parents up, and told them someone had been in the house.

They found a purse and it's contains scattered throughout their living room.  And their keys outside in their vehicles.  The contents of the glove compartments were strewn everywhere.

A hundred dollars was missing out of his wife's purse, and they found a large kitchen knife stuck in one of their chairs, that didn't match their household knifes.

Their neighbor shutters at the thought of such a young intruder in his home.

"That's the last thing you'd think of an eight year old boy.  I have a dog in the house and I'd hate to see someone sneak through the house while everybody is asleep.  And scare us and the dog and then he jump on them, especially an eight year child.  It would be terrible," says Eric McFarland of Benton, Illinois.

Police have not charged the young boy with any criminal charges.  And at this time he's in the custody of his mother.

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