Authorities in Hendersonville are sending a strong warning to potential violent criminals that they will face the fullest extent of the law once caught.
The Hendersonville mayor and officials with the Hendersonville Police Department held a press conference for the second time this year to address the growing and concerning trend of serious crimes involving teenagers.
"We're going to do everything it takes to catch you and put you away and our District Attorneys office will do everything it can to put you away from the streets. We will use every means we have available to us to catch these guys and put them away as long as we can," said HPD Chief Mickey Miller.
Since June, there have been about 30 cases of different types of crime ranging from car burglaries to aggravated robberies.
Of the 42 suspected teen criminals, majority are not from Hendersonville and have already been caught thanks to a more proactive approach and additional resources from the police department.
An assistant district attorney said that at least six of the suspects have been transferred to adult court, but there will likely be more.
"Some of the crimes were committed with guns, a good portion were here attempting to obtain guns," said Det. Lt. Jim Vaughn.
Just in the past week alone, investigators said four teens tried to break into the Guns and Leather store and took off when officers showed up. The vehicle crashed in Nashville.
The recent incident comes just days after five other teens smashed into the front door of the same gun store.
The police chief said at leas three gangs are believed to be behind the trend.
"The way you get up and go to work in the morning, for these groups, this is their job. They're planning they're next crime and leaving a path of devastation wherever they go," Commander of Investigative Services Scott Ryan told NewsChannel 5.
Investigators said many of the groups are also linked to violent crimes throughout the mid-state including Davidson, Wilson and Rutherford Counties.
"One of the groups that we caught up here had been on a spree that same night down in Nashville, shooting at people and shot a woman several times," added Chief Miller. "If they're big enough to pick up a gun and rob somebody, then they're big enough to do man's time."
Approximately ten stolen guns have been recovered but several are still out there.
The chief urged residents to lock their vehicle doors. Guns and vehicles used in the robberies were made possible because they were left unlocked.