MABTON - Five rifles and more than 600 rounds of ammunition were stolen by whom police believe to be three Mabton teens this past weekend. So far, two of the rifles have been recovered, according to Mabton Police Chief Raul Almeida.
The guns were first noticed missing Saturday, Oct. 30, when the owner returned home, said Almeida. The victim, who Almeida wouldn't disclose an address for, but said he lives on the north side of town, had rifles he used for hunting and target practice, as well as an old military rifle taken.
Almeida said that although the town had some car prowls and a burglary this past weekend, last Saturday's case took precedence since weapons were stolen.
One of the three teens, a 16-year-old male, who is being charged with burglary and a weapons violation, was arrested Saturday shortly after the burglary was discovered.
Almeida said they found fingerprints and footprints, which led them to the teen.
The other two teens were apprehended when four Mabton police officers executed a search warrant Monday at a home in the southern portion of Mabton. Cautious because they didn't know if the teens would turn the guns on them, the police were able to recover two of the guns and more than 600 rounds of .22 rifle ammunition for the guns. About 30 rounds of 30.30 were also recovered.
"The victim couldn't give us a clear amount of ammo that was taken," said Almeida, who said that some of the rounds could have been sold.
Police also found 500 grams of marijuana, a scale and packaging material for distribution during the search. The 17-year-old believed to be involved in the gun heist is also being charged with a felony of possession of marijuana with intent to deliver.
"The 17-year-old has a lengthy juvenile record," said Almeida.
He is also being charged with the burglary and a weapons violation, as is the other 16-year-old involved in the burglary, said Almeida.
"In their own admissions, they were going to sell the guns for money," said Almeida.
Police believe three of the guns were already sold.
"We're still looking for the three guns," he said.
All three have been sent to the Yakima County Juvenile Detention Center.