Two teens from West were arrested this week in a string of vehicle burglaries that happened overnight on Thanksgiving, West Police Chief Darryl Barton said.
Jacob Claridy, 17, was arrested Wednesday on two Class A misdemeanor charges of burglary of a motor vehicle and a state jail felony charge of theft of a firearm. Barton said Claridy's accomplice was 16 at the time of the crime but has since turned 17, and was charged Tuesday in juvenile court.
Several residents on the north side of West called police the morning after Thanksgiving to report property had been stolen from their vehicles, Barton said. By that morning, residents had reported nine vehicles had been broken into and one home had been unlawfully entered and items had been taken, he said.
The boys have been charged in two burglaries, but police have evidence connecting the boys to 10 burglaries and are investigating possible connections to as many as 16, Barton said.
"The investigation has to be done properly," he said. "We had a lot of evidence to process and a lot of witness interviews to conduct. We want to build a strong case."
According to arrest affidavits, Claridy and the 16-year-old broke into a car and stole a wallet. In the other incident they have been charged in, Claridy took a .40-caliber pistol and gave it to the juvenile, according to the affidavit. The juvenile then gave the gun to his mother, who immediately turned it over to police, Barton said.
"The firearm was found to be stolen out of the center console of a truck located on … North Washington Street," the affidavit states.
Barton said Claridy was arrested on the burglary and theft charges Wednesday. The juvenile suspect was formally charged Tuesday and will be processed through the juvenile court system.