Two Utah teens made headlines due to their social media posts, which appeared to have been lighthearted in intent, but could wind up costing them dearly when they head to juvenile court to face charges. The incident occurred in West Weber, a town just north of Salt Lake City, when a 16-year-old boy and his friend allegedly broke into a refrigerated truck and stole gallon tubs of ice cream. They allegedly broadcasted the whole escapade over Twitter’s Periscope live broadcasting technology.
The two boys reportedly provided their followers with a live transmission as they broke into the truck, grabbed the ice cream and then distributed it to the porches of their unsuspecting neighbors as unsolicited “gifts.” Not long after the stunt hit social media, a local resident alerted police, who were able to identify and apprehend the boys in short time.
Many people may say that this alleged crime most likely falls squarely within the category of “boys will be boys,” but in the eyes of law enforcement this stunt is really no different from the serious burglary and shoplifting charges they see all the time. And, as a result, these two boys could be prosecuted accordingly.
Teenagers who commit crimes may be given some deference by the court, who would rather use these incidents as “teachable moments” rather than incarcerate these kids and start them down a potential spiral of criminal behavior. But, these charges still need to be taken seriously, since the long-term consequences can still be very real, including getting stuck with a permanent criminal record that could hurt a kid’s prospects of college admittance or getting a good job.
Source: Reuters “Two Utah teens live stream ice cream burglary, get scooped up,” July 14, 2015