Youth activist outraged at recent crime stats

by: Deanna Bettineschi Updated:

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Andrew Gebrehawariat knows what it’s like to be a young adult with no support. He said he was behind bars in his 20’s. But he has since turned his life around and is now using his story to help other young adults in Jacksonville.
 
“I believe that more people need to get involved with the youth cause we can complain about it but what are we going to do about it?” said Gebrehawariat.
 
He started the Youth Outreach United Foundation to try and stray teens away from crimes. He says crime has gotten out of hand in Jacksonville.

Action News reached out to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office to see how crime this year, from Jan. 1 to mid-August, compare to that same time period last year. We found the largest increases were in three areas: carjackings, shootings and businesses being robbed.

According to JSO reports, carjackings are up 56 percent, shootings are up 33 percent and robberies to a business are up 25 percent.
 
“They are outrageous,” said Gebrehawariat.
 
But he believes these numbers can be reduced.

“First off I  think crime is happening because of a lack of jobs, then they have idle time, which leads to substance abuse and drug abuse and leads to irrational choices,” he said.