WENATCHEE — Two juveniles — a 14-year-old from East Wenatchee and a 17-year-old from Wenatchee — are scheduled for trial this month for a Malaga burglary which netted about 30 firearms valued at more than $20,000.
Police say two of those guns were later found in the possession of Wenatchee Valley gangmembers.
The two youth suspects in the break-in are charged with first-degree burglary while armed with a deadly weapon, plus 24 counts each of theft of a firearm. Chelan County detectives say the two used a shotgun to shoot out the locks on the door of a Malaga gunsmith shop, April 4, and once inside, made off with multiple handguns, a shotgun, assault rifles and other weapons.
Some of the assault rifles were 6.5mm to .308-caliber, and the pistols taken ranged from .22 caliber to .40-caliber and 10mm. One 12-gauge shotgun was also stolen, police said. Deputies say the break-in and theft was caught on store video, as was the vehicle in which the suspects arrived.
Three days later Douglas County sheriff’s deputies investigated a report of firearms being discharged in a southern East Wenatchee gravel pit, and saw a vehicle leaving that matched the SUV seen on the gun shop video. Detectives interviewed the SUV owner, and said they found .308 ammunition in the vehicle that the owner had not placed there.
The SUV had previously been driven by one of the juvenile suspects, police said, and both were arrested about five days after the burglary. Searches of the properties where they lived allegedly turned up firearms with serial numbers that matched the stolen weapons. The teens have been held in juvenile detention since then.
While investigating an alleged gang-related robbery that occurred April 1, East Wenatchee police arrested two suspects — one age 15 from East Wenatchee, the other age 16 from Rock Island — on April 15 in Eastmont Community Park. Police said two handguns recovered during those arrests were traced to the Malaga burglary.
About 23 of the stolen firearms had been recovered as of two weeks ago. Both teenagers now face trial May 27 in Chelan County juvenile court.