Police: Two teens steal car, guns

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 22, 1999

A botched shoplifting attempt led to the arrest of two Natchez teenagers this week for allegedly stealing a new car and two semi-automatic assault rifles.

A 15-year-old boy was arrested Wednesday, and a 14-year-old boy was arrested Tuesday. Both were turned in by their parents after they were contacted by the police department, said Natchez Police Chief Willie Huff. Police believe the 14-year-old stole a 2000 Chrysler Sebring from the showroom of Gardner Motor Company on Seargent S. Prentiss Drive over the weekend. Then on Monday, the teens are believed to have stolen two guns from Concordia Pawn & Gun Shop in Vidalia, La. The two guns, which were not loaded can hold 60 rounds of clips and look like military weapons, Huff said. &uot;They are popular guns for gang-type activity,&uot; he said.

But the teenagers do not have any known gang affiliation, and police are not certain why they stole the guns. Each gun is valued at $300, and the car was valued at $23,000, he said.

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Police found the car after the 14-year-old allegedly tried to rob McRae’s at Natchez Mall Tuesday. He is believed to have piled about $250 worth of clothes at the store door before grabbing the stack and running out.

A security guard chased him for a while but was unable to catch him. The teen dropped the clothes on the way, Huff said. An eye-witness connected the teenager with the stolen car, Huff said. &uot;A clerk had seen him come out of the car and get into the store,&uot; Huff said.

Police soon learned the car was stolen. They believe the 15-year-old stole a car tag for the vehicle Monday. The description of the shoplifter helped police locate the suspects.

The 15-year-old is an an acquaintance of the younger suspect, Huff said. He would not give details but said evidence found in the car led police to connect its theft with the pawn shop robbery. The suspects hid the guns in undisclosed locations in Natchez, but Huff would not comment on the specific location.

Natchez Police have charged the 14-year-old with grand larceny for stealing the car and the 15-year-old with petit larceny for stealing the car tag. They are both charged with receiving stolen property for taking the guns. Charges they actually stole the guns would have to come from Louisiana authorities. The boys will be processed through youth court because the charges do not automatically convert into adult offenses. Police released the boys to their parents.