A 17-year-old gang member was arrested for possessing a stolen vehicle as well as several weapons including a loaded 9 mm handgun and metal knuckles, all while driving around a 15-year-old passenger.
At around 10:20 a.m. on Wednesday, Chico Police received a call from a man who said he saw his friend’s stolen car driving in the area of 16th and Laurel Streets.
When officers arrived in the area, the caller had lost sight of the vehicle. As officers checked the neighborhood, Lt. Dye spotted the suspect vehicle driving southbound on Boucher St. The driver of the vehicle apparently realized he was being followed and sped away north on Laurel St.
Minutes later, Officer Ratto spotted the stolen vehicle, parked and unoccupied in an alley near 16th and Laurel. A witness flagged the officer down and told him that the suspects had just left the area on foot after concealing something under a bush in the yard. Officer Ratto could see the suspects walking north on Laurel about two blocks away. Additional officers converged on the area and apprehended the two suspects at 14th and Laurel.
After the suspects were apprehended, officers learned that the object the suspect had concealed in the yard was a loaded 9mm handgun with a round in the chamber as well as a pair of metal knuckles. During a search of the stolen car, officers found a single 9mm cartridge on the floor.
The names of the suspects cannot be revealed due to their age. The 17-year-old driver was transported to Juvenile Hall on charges of possession of a stolen vehicle, being armed in the commission of a felony, felon in possession of a firearm, metal knuckles and ammunition, being a gang member in possession of a firearm and violation of probation. The 15-year-old passenger was released to a parent without charges pending further investigation.