Main Street at Lakewood Ranch cracking down on unsupervised kids

Lakewood Ranch imposes the curfew after teens set a fire at Starbucks.

It's the first thing you notice when you drive into Main Street at Lakewood Ranch -- damage at the Starbucks.

There is still yellow caution tape surrounding a part of the patio area.

The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office says a group of juveniles were hanging around the Starbucks around 11 p.m. Saturday when they started to set things on fire with a cigarette lighter.

One of the juveniles lit a newspaper on fire and threw it on a patio couch, causing it to engulf in flames.

This is just one of the reasons many shop owners in the area wanted a curfew to get rid of unsupervised kids.

“I don't think it's a good idea for kids to be running around shops all by themselves,” says Realtor Candy Swick.

Even though the shopping area looked peaceful when we were there, Swick says don't be fooled -- some teens come out to play at night.

“I think families need to be with families and I think children need to be under the watchful eye of parents,” says Swick.

Most business owners say some teens come into stores and ransack their shops. Some even throw bang snaps at windows and signs.

That's why a curfew for kids under the age of 16 is now set.

When the clock strikes 6, you better have a parent with you. If not, expect a security officer to wait with you until a parent comes.

“I don't think they should do that, like not all of them are bad,” says Carolina Bado, who often goes to Starbucks.

Mom Kim Degenaro agrees saying it's unfair. Her 15-year-old daughter was supposed to catch a movie with friends Friday night.

“I think it's ridiculous,” says Degenaro, “I prefer to let my kid have her fun. and the ones who can't handle being well behaved, then ask them to leave.”

Regardless on your stance, the measure was take to make sure something like this Starbucks fire doesn’t happen again.

There will be a designated area where teens can wait to be picked up by their parents.
 
If you are 16 or older and not carrying an ID, you will also be asked to leave.
 

© 2017 WTSP-TV


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