Fourteen-year-old driving stolen vehicle had prior criminal record
In the early hours of Sunday morning, four youth smashed glass doors at four Camas businesses and stole cash and merchandise. Prior to that they had broken into a Washougal business. All but one was under age 21.
The five businesses were Papermake Pride, Caps N’ Taps, Camas Slices, and Birch St. Lounge in Camas, and the Washougal Food Mart. According to reports, the crime spree began in Washougal before coming to Camas. A witness alerted police after the crime spree ended.
A day later, six individuals were arrested in Marion County, Oregon following a police chase. A 14-year-old was driving a stolen Jeep Wrangler. Deputies searched the Jeep and found two stolen handguns, an AR-15 style rifle, methamphetamine, and cash — as well as things stolen during the Camas burglaries, authorities said.
Four of the six have been identified as being involved in the Camas crime spree.
Four Camas businesses and a Washougal business were broken into in the early morning hours of Halloween. Merchandise and cash were taken from the businesses. Here are broken glass and smashed front doors at Papermaker Pride and Caps N’ Taps. Photo courtesy business employee.
Camas police detective Scot Boyles has served the community for 23 years. He’s never seen this type of criminal behavior by such young people. “This was a deliberate act to steal items not just commit property damage,” he told Lars Larson in a radio interview Thursday.
Police indicate they will forward burglary and theft charges for all five businesses to the Clark County prosecutor’s office for four of the suspects:
- Arnes Johnmark, 23-year-old Happy Valley, OR resident
- Zachary Retonong, 19-year-old Salem, OR resident
- 14-year-old Juvenile Male, Portland, OR resident
- 11-year-old Juvenile Male, Portland, OR resident
Portland Police said Tuesday that the 11-year-old boy was also previously arrested for a crime spree in Northeast Portland in mid-October according to news reports.
“I can tell you that there were statements made that implied their guilt,” Boyles said.
“When I interviewed them yesterday, it was a very unique situation to be in as a law enforcement officer to be talking to an 11-year-old about multiple felony violations,” he said.
Detective Boyles was asked about the demeanor of the youth he interviewed.
“I can tell you that they didn’t interview as you would expect an 11 year old and a 14 year old to interview,” he said. “There was some obvious, I think hardening would be the right word of their personality, that we come across with much more seasoned criminals.”
“To see how hardened they were at that young of an age was disheartening and disappointing,” Boyles said.
He shared that for the crimes in Camas and Washougal, they would be burglary in the second degree, theft in the second degree, and malicious mischief (property damage) in the second degree. Each one of those are either Class B or Class C felonies. which could bring five years per charge, and a $10,000 fine for each charge.
Given their ages, Boyles noted they’ll be in the juvenile system which is normally focused on rehabilitation, not punishment. “It’s not realistic that they’re going to get the maximum for all of those crimes,” he said.
On Monday in Salem, Marion County Sheriff Deputies attempted to stop the Jeep and it fled. Spike strips were used and eventually the Jeep stopped, according to a Camas police press release.
There were six individuals inside the Jeep. Five of them fled on foot and all six of them were apprehended and arrested by the Marion County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies learned the Jeep was stolen from Tualatin and a subsequent search of the Jeep revealed items that were connected to the Camas burglaries. The Marion County Sheriff’s Office then notified members of the Camas Police Department.
The subsequent investigation led Camas Police Detectives to identifying the four individuals responsible for the burglaries in Downtown Camas. In addition, they were able to establish probable cause for a burglary at the Washougal Food Mart as well. Burglary and Theft charges for all five businesses will be forwarded to the Clark County Prosecutor’s Office.
“I’m proud our deputies were able to help hold these young people accountable while getting the vehicle back to its rightful owner and taking three guns off the streets in Marion County,” Sheriff Commander Jeff Stutrud said.
All four suspects are still in custody in Oregon.