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4 Virginia teenagers arrested for guns, drugs and auto theft

The OnStar system on a stolen car helped Prince William County police track down three out of four teenagers believed to be involved in an auto theft ring based in the Manassas area. One 18-year-old, a 17-year-old and two 16-year-old males were picked up by police and formally charged with the thefts of cars and guns.

Each of the teenage suspects has been arraigned on charges of grand larceny auto. Additional gun and drug charges were added for some of the teens accused of the juvenile crimes, including larceny of a firearm, credit card theft and possession of marijuana.

Prince William County police say they were tipped off to the theft ring when a car in the Amberton neighborhood was reported stolen in mid-June. The car's OnStar tracking system directed authorities to the car's exact location in Fairfax County and led to the arrest of three minors allegedly involved in the car's theft. Fairfax authorities arrested the juveniles and handed them over to Prince William County police to be charged.

A fourth suspect, an 18-year-old from Margate Court in the Summertree neighborhood was arrested after Prince William police identified the juveniles in custody and made a connection to a separate grand larceny incident that involved the theft of firearms and multiple electronic devices.

Police obtained a search warrant and conducted a subsequent raid of a home on Lightguard Loop in the Jackson Ridge area, not far from Manassas. Investigators say they discovered several pieces of stolen property during the raid.

No bond information or court dates were released by authorities for the three minors. Their identities were also withheld because of their age.

Virginia police officers take cases of theft very seriously, even if the individual who committed the crime is a minor. They will not hesitate to arrest someone who is under 18. However, the juvenile court system is set up to be more rehabilitative than punitive. Experienced Virginia attorneys understand how frightening a criminal charge can be for a young person. Strong defenses can be built to challenge or reduce charges against a juvenile.

Source: Insidenova.com, "Manassas-area teens face care theft and firearm charges," David Pierce, 21 June 2011

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