Teens suspected in Sunday morning crime wave in Milton-Freewater

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MILTON-FREEWATER — A pair of teens are facing multiple charges following a mini-crime wave Sunday morning that included motor vehicle theft, possession of narcotics and vehicle prowling.

According to Milton-Freewater police the teens also illegally entered Evergreen Oregon Retirement Center and wandered around.

Milton-Freewater City Manager Linda Hall said several agencies, including the Umatilla County Sheriff’s Office, have been investigating the case. Hall said today that police received a call early Sunday morning reporting an armed male had broken into the retirement center. When police arrived they were told the person had fled.

Milton-Freewater police quickly located a 16-year-old suspect who had a backpack containing stolen property, later linked to multiple vehicle prowls in the Milton-Freewater area.

“Most of the car prowls that morning have been attributed to him,” Sgt. Robert Guerrero said this morning.

That same morning Walla Walla Sheriff’s Office Deputy Dale Preas responded to a report of a stolen vehicle involved in a collision on Sunquist Road in Umatilla County. According to Preas’ report, the sole Umatilla County deputy available was unable to respond because he had been called to a domestic violence report near Meacham.

Preas arrive at Sunquist Road to find a Ford truck that had crashed into an orchard, damaging six trees. With the help of witnesses on the scene Preas located a 15-year-old attempting to steal a Ford Escape. Preas took the teen, who became “uncooperative,” into custody.

“I eventually hobbled this suspect and sat on him until (a Umatilla County) deputy arrived,” Preas wrote in his report.

Preas reported the Umatilla County deputy said the 15-year-old had been linked to the break-in at the Evergreen Oregon Retirement Center.

According to a news release from Milton-Freewater, the 16-year-old could face multiple misdemeanor charges, including unlawful entry into a motor vehicle, third-degree theft and possession of a controlled substance.

The 15-year-old could face several felony charges, including unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, first-degree theft, first-degree criminal trespass and criminal mischief.

According to Hall, neither teen had been arrested as of this morning but were highly intoxicated when police initially contacted them. Potential charges have been forwarded to the Umatilla County District Attorney’s Office.

The District Attorney did not return phone call this morning. The Umatilla County Sheriff’s Office be reached for comment.

Luke Hegdal can be reached at lukehegdal@wwub.com or 526-8326.

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