Four juveniles are facing felony charges after Newport police allege they stole a brand-new ATV, a high-powered gun and other items from local homes.
Police are also investigating whether the four are behind other thefts in the area.
“We think there are more … and we are going to keep looking into it,” Newport Police Chief Leonard Macdaid said Sunday.
The investigation began early Friday when Jim Ivory of Newport went into his garage as he prepared to go to work. Ivory said he first noticed the garage door was open, but then realized that one of his family’s two ATVs — a larger Polaris with some custom items — was missing.
“It only had 100 miles on it. We just bought it,” Ivory said Sunday.
Police later determined that the suspects also stole items from cars in the garage.
Macdaid credited Newport police Lt. Randy Wing with quickly linking the thefts to four local juveniles who were not identified because of their age. Macdaid would say only that they were all from the Newport-Corinna area.
Wing also received help from a local resident.
“When citizens are observant and watch out for one another, it helps us 100 percent,” Macdaid said.
The investigators allege the suspects also stole a .44 Ruger Magnum gun and jewelry from a Corinna home. Those items have since been returned to the homeowner.
The four juveniles were arrested and are facing felony burglary and theft charges as well as misdemeanor car theft charges. They were released to their parents but remain under house arrest, Macdaid said. The court hearing will likely be held sometime next month.
Ivory said his new ATV came back badly damaged. But he was most upset that thieves had broken into his house while his wife and two young children — ages 2 and 6 — were home and sleeping upstairs.
“My wife and kids were a little shook up,” he said. “But by that night, because of their [Wing and Macdaid’s] aggressive approach, we were able to relax a bit.”