Police arrest teens who allegedly went on overnight crime spree


Police received a report around 8 a.m. Sunday of a black Toyota 4Runner SUV that had been stolen overnight from the front of the owner's home in the 1900 block of Falcon Ridge Drive, police said.

The suspects had apparently found keys that were left inside the unlocked truck.

During the investigation into the stolen SUV, police dispatchers got a report from a citizen on Sunrise Parkway near Nikki Drive of a speeding black Toyota 4Runner that ran into a curb. The citizen reported that four young men exited the car and appeared to be wiping the exterior to remove fingerprints, according to police.

When officers arrived at the scene, the four suspects split up and left the area on foot. Police spotted three of the teens and attempted to detain them. Two of the suspects, both 16-year-old Petaluma boys, cooperated with police and were arrested, while the other fled on foot and began jumping fences into backyards.

The teen then ran to a home several blocks away where he previously lived and spoke to a resident in the home, whom he did not know.

He told the woman that he was being chased by gang members and needed a ride home. The woman's brother drove the teen to a location near Penngrove and dropped him off.

Officers were able to track the teen after finding some personal items he had discarded while fleeing, police said.

Police determined the identity of that suspect, a 17-year-old Roseville boy, and learned that his mother was en route to pick him up. The mother cooperated with police and brought him to the Petaluma police station where he was arrested.

Officers located the fourth teen, a 17-year-old Petaluma boy, being driven in a vehicle by his brother, and arrested him.

Police determined that the four teens had been involved in several car burglaries overnight in the Turtle Creek, Kings Mill and Adobe Creek neighborhoods and on Garfield Drive in Petaluma.

The suspects stole items from the cars and eventually found the keys to the Toyota 4Runner, which they used to drive to businesses throughout Petaluma and Windsor. The teens allegedly used stolen credit cards to go on a quick buying spree, then tossed some of the items they had stolen - including purses, navigation devices and ID cards -- out of the car while driving through town.

Police have recovered some of the stolen property and are attempting to track the items back to their rightful owners.

Anyone with information about these crimes is asked to contact Petaluma police Officer Art Farihna at (707) 778-4372.

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