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4-Year-old boy caught burglarizing a church

Maria Mora is a freelance writer and single mom fueled by coffee, questionable time management skills, toaster oven waffles and the color orange. She lives in Florida with her two young sons. If you see her on Twitter, tell her to stop p...

Police say a preschooler helped other kids rob a local church

Apparently it's not just parents of teens who have to worry about kids dabbling in crime.

Police say a 4-year-old boy from St. Petersburg, Florida, helped three older kids break into a church undergoing renovations. The kids allegedly entered the church through an open window. They didn't stop there. The four pint-sized burglars also broke into a locked shed and two church vans. Authorities have not said what the children stole. The break-in took place on a Sunday morning.

When police arrived on the scene, the kids took off running and didn't obey police commands. After hopping a fence, all four kids were apprehended by a K-9 unit. A 14-year-old boy, 14-year-old girl and 11-year-old were arrested and charged with commercial burglary. The oldest boy was also charged with possessing burglary tools.

The little one has not been charged and was released to the care of relatives. Though the exact circumstances aren't known, the boy may have been in the care of the older kids at the time of the burglary. With many households relying on two incomes, it's not unusual for older children to be responsible for younger kids.

It's not like the 4-year-old is destined to be a hard-core criminal, no matter how extreme it is to steal from a place of worship. Preschoolers aren't known for their critical thinking skills. The boy might have thought he was going along with some great adventure. Fortunately the children who were definitely old enough to know better have been charged and will hopefully be derailed from making really unsound life choices.

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