ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Four youths charged with vehicle theft and resisting arrest Monday may be responsible for 20 or more similar thefts since Jan. 1, according to Anchorage police.
Boucha Khanphanh, 18, plus a 14-year-old boy and two 12-year-old boys, were arrested early Monday and charged with stealing three vehicles overnight.
Police said an officer at about 4:30 a.m. saw a car in distress in the Mountain View neighborhood. When he attempted to contact the occupants, they all fled on foot.
Police rounded up the youths and later recovered five vehicles that officers said were stolen by the group.
The group targeted unlocked Toyota Camrys, police said. The youths used a screwdriver or similar instrument to start the vehicles, drove them until they were out of gas and abandoned them, usually in Mountain View.
The three juveniles were taken to McLaughlin Youth Center. Khanphanh was taken to the Anchorage Jail with bail set at $3,000.
Since Jan. 1, Anchorage police have received 27 reports of stolen Toyota Camrys.
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