Teens suspected in dozens of car prowls

By The Tri-City HeraldJanuary 21, 2014 

Five teens arrested in a series of break-ins and thefts may be responsible for more than 100 car prowls in Benton County.

Authorities are asking for the public's help in identifying stolen property that has been found and if there are other thefts.

Benton County sheriff's deputies and Kennewick police saw a spike in car break-ins and thefts in Kennewick and unincorporated areas east of the city in the past two weeks, said Sheriff's Lt. Chuck Jones.

They are working together to track down the culprits.

Undercover deputies helped identify some teen suspects and pinned down where and when the crimes were taking place. Jones said they then spotted three of the boys, talked with them and were able to match some shoe prints found at a crime scene.

Three of the teens were arrested Sunday and two others were picked up soon after, Jones said.

Tristan D. Landry, 18, and four 16-year-old boys are being held on suspicion of burglary and theft.

Kennewick police said they were able to connect the teens to a rash of car prowls during the weekend. At least 30 cars were broken into between South Dayton and South Fruitland streets. Many items, including money, tools and keys were taken.

Authorities said a majority of the cars and buildings were left unlocked.

Jones said the teens have been linked to at least 25 car prowls and eight burglaries in the county, including one at a Finley church. In-Step Baptist Church was vandalized Jan. 14 and several items, including electric guitars, were stolen.

"We believe there's well over 100 vehicle prowls these kids are involved in," Jones said. "There's definitely more crime out there."

The teens, who are not gang affiliated, allegedly were stashing the stolen items with hopes of possibly selling them, he said.

The sheriff's office and police searched three different houses and found a large quantity of stolen items, including the guitars.

"There was a lot of smaller items," Jones said. "We believe (the suspects) have been highly active for the last three weeks."

Anyone who has been a victim of a theft in Benton County in the past three weeks is asked to call the sheriff's office at 735-6555 to help identify items that were found.

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