Police link car thefts to group of juveniles

Several Garfield County law enforcement agencies have arrested three local juveniles they suspect were tied to a gang-related auto theft ring that stretched from Denver to the Western Slope.

Police said the juveniles are members of the Sureno gang, a Mexican-American street gang that originated in the oldest barrios in Southern California.

One of the three, a 14-year-old, was arrested on numerous felony charges, including suspicion of aggravated motor vehicle theft, theft, carrying a concealed weapon, possession of a handgun by a juvenile and first-degree criminal trespass. Immigration and Customs Enforcement also has placed a hold on him.

A 16-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of aggravated motor vehicle theft, and a third juvenile still is under investigation.

The three are suspected of stealing seven cars between Oct. 25 and Oct. 31. Five were in Pitkin and Garfield counties, one from Steamboat Springs and one from Denver.

The handgun was recovered from one of the juveniles while he was attempting to steal another car in New Castle, the Garfield County Sheriff’s Department said. He was apprehended and held at gunpoint by the car’s owner until deputies and New Castle Police Department officers arrived.

The arrest of that juvenile led to the two others.

The courts are expected to decide later if the two boys will be charged as juveniles or adults.


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