Tacoma police arrested five teenagers early today on suspicion of breaking into five vehicles in the West End.
The four 17-year-old boys and 15-year-old girl were booked into Remann Hall juvenile jail on suspicion of first-degree malicious mischief and first-degree possession of stolen property, Tacoma police spokesman Mark Fulghum said.
Tacoma police started receiving calls just after midnight from residents of the Vassault Park area. The callers reported that a group of people were breaking into vehicles and stealing property from inside, Fulghum said. One vehicle was set on fire.
About 1:30 a.m., a Tacoma police officer patrolling in the area spotted a suspicious vehicle. By the time he turned around, the vehicle had taken off, Fulghum said.
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The vehicle "just caught his attention," he said.
The officer stayed in the area and, a short time later, spotted the same vehicle in the area of North 30th and Pearl streets, Fulghum said.
The officer stopped the car near North 21st and Pearl. He arrested the five teens inside. The officer also spotted stolen property in the vehicle, Fulghum said.
The victims responded to the location of the suspects' vehicle and identified items that had been taken from their cars.
None of the five teens live in the West End. One lives on Tacoma's East Side and the others live in the Pierce County, Fulghum said.