Runaway teens put strain on St. Gabriel Police

PAM BOESCH Contributing writer

ST. GABRIEL – St. Gabriel Police Chief Kevin Ambeau has questions for some students at a military youth program.

Ambeau suspects some of the students are behind recent home burglaries.

The police chief believes the kids are just trying to run away, but

he is worried they will get hurt on the streets.

The Louisiana National Guard Youth Challenge Program in Carville is home to kids, ages 15 to 18 looking to change their lives, but Ambeau said lately the instructors are having a hard time keeping the teens on campus.

"We've gotten several complaints from people in the community about them being in their yard, one runaway sleeping in someone's shed, another sleeping on a bus at a local bus industry and one of them hopping on the back of a train," Ambeau said.

Ambeau said it usually happens during the first two weeks of the program.

"Recently they got a new academy and this one here is probably the worst since I've been chief," Ambeau said. "We had 16 at one time escape on last Friday."