Six Bend teenagers were charged with theft and weapon crimes Thursday after police found them in an SUV they allegedly stole a day earlier.
Bend Police Lt. Bob Jones said an officer spotted a reported stolen Ford Explorer driving north on Purcell Blvd. near Highway 20 around 6:15 Thursday.
Several officers arrived in the area of Costco as the SUV was pulling into the parking lot. Officers also had information there was a loaded handgun in the SUV at the time it was stolen, Jones said.
Officers conducted a high-risk traffic stop on the SUV and took four teens into custody – two 14-year-old boys and two 14-year-old girls. Jones said the driver, one of the 14-year-old boys, was the one who stole the SUV on Wednesday.
Jones said officers learned two others, a 16-year-old boy and a 14-year-old girl, were also involved in the incident and were later identified.
Officers searched the Explorer but did not find the gun.
During the investigation, officers learned that the handgun had been removed from the SUV by one of the teens and hidden in another’s house near Costco. Officers got permission to get the handgun from the home and the handgun was found in a bedroom.
The 16-year-old boy accused of stealing the SUV was on probation out of Deschutes County and he was taken to the Deschutes County Juvenile Detention Center where he was booked on first-degree theft, unauthorized use motor vehicle, and unlawful possession firearm.
The other teens were released to their parents and charges of first-degree theft, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and unlawful possession of a firearm and were referred to the Juvenile Department for consideration.