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11-Year-Old Tied To String Of Violent Crime Sprees In 2 States Arrested On New Charges

Portland, OR – A crew of juvenile thugs committed a string of armed robberies, carjackings, and shootings during a 13-hour crime-spree in Portland last month.

One of the suspects, an 11-year-old boy who was armed with a handgun, was arrested for a “similar crime spree” again on Monday, the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) said in a press release on Wednesday.

The 11-year-old and his two cohorts, ages 15 and 17, were previously arrested on Oct. 17 after they allegedly committed a slew of violent offenses in North and East Portland, according to police.

The mayhem kicked of at approximately 12 a.m., when the trio allegedly stole two vehicles from the driveway of a home located in the 3900-block of Southeast 10th Avenue.

Police said the group opened fire on a residence on Mohawk Avenue two hours later, then proceeded to try to rob a pedestrian in the area of North Rodney Avenue and North Killingsworth Street.

A bicyclist was robbed at gunpoint in the 2000-block of Northeast 15th Avenue at 4:58 a.m., less than five minutes before a motorist was carjacked at gunpoint on North Argyle Street, police said.

After about a two-hour hiatus, the group allegedly robbed a pedestrian at gunpoint in the 8100-block of Southeast Woodward Street.

They spotted a man walking his dog near Southeast Tibbetts Street and Southeast 79th Avenue just before 7:40 a.m., and hit him with a car when he tried to run away, according to police.

The victim, 55-year-old Bob Wenberg, told KGW his leg was broken in the attack.

“The window was rolled down and there was this masked youth and he was pointing a gun right at me,” Wenberg said. “He looked at me and said ‘give me your wallet, your phone and your dog.’”

“These were kids and they tried to murder me when I tried running away,” he told KGW. “They tried to run me down.”

Another pedestrian was robbed at gunpoint near Northeast Roselawn Street and Northeast 8th Avenue just before 8 a.m., according to the PPB.

A woman in the 8000-block of Southeast Bush Street said she was chased by a group of people at about 9:11 a.m., and that one of the perpetrators was armed with a gun, police said.

Just seven minutes later, a bicyclist near Southeast Schiller Street and 84th Avenue was robbed at gunpoint.

Police said the group allegedly struck again at 12:16 p.m., when they drove up behind a pedestrian in the area of North Alberta Street and Northeast Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard and started shooting at him.

The pedestrian escaped the attack without any injuries.

When Portland police spotted the suspect vehicle in the 6400-block of Southeast 83rd Avenue just before 12 p.m., the suspects bailed out and took off running, according to the press release.

The officers set up a perimeter and apprehended the three juvenile males.

The 11-year-old was allegedly armed with a handgun at the time of his arrest.

Due to his age, he could not be booked into jail and was released to a guardian, the PPB said.

The 15-year-old and 17-year-old boys were booked into the Donald E. Long Juvenile Detention Center on charges of unauthorized use of a vehicle and first-degree robbery.

“Not all of the listed cases have resulted in charges yet, but detectives do believe all the cases are connected,” the PPB said. “Other charges are expected as detectives do more investigating, and other arrests are possible.”

The 11-year-old was arrested with another group in Marion County on Monday, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) said in a press release.

That incident began shortly after 4 p.m., when a MCSO Traffic Safety Team deputy tried to pull over the driver of a Jeep Wrangler for an equipment violation.

The driver, later identified as a 14-year-old male from Portland, refused to pull over and sped off down Lancaster Drive, driving recklessly and blasting through red lights as deputies trailed behind him, according to the MCSO.

Deputies used spike strips to deflate the Jeep’s tires on State Street near Cordon Road, but the driver continued on for more than two miles.

He ultimately stopped near Logan Court Northeast and Indiana Avenue Northeast, at which point six occupants jumped out and took off into the surrounding residential area, the MCSO said.

Deputies successfully apprehended all six suspects, including the 11-year-old involved in the earlier crime spree in Portland.

They also arrested the 14-year-old driver, as well as two other juveniles, ages 13 and 16.

Two adults, 19-year-old parolee Zachary Retonong and 23-year-old Arnes Johnmark, were also arrested.

Investigators discovered the Jeep had been reported as stolen several days earlier, according to the MCSO.

They located two stolen handguns, an “AR-15 style rifle,” cash, and methamphetamine inside the vehicle, according to the press release.

The group is facing a slew of charges, including possession of a firearm, reckless endangering, assault, and delivery of methamphetamine, among others.

They are also believed to be tied to a series of burglaries that took place in Camas, Washington on Halloween, according to KPTV.

“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,” MCSO Commander Jeff Stutrud said in the press release.

“By holding these youth accountable, our goal is to change their behavior and connect them with people who can teach them the skills needed to stop engaging in criminal activity,” Commander Stutrud wrote. “This incident was a great example of the work our deputies do on a daily basis to address crime in our community while also minimizing the risk to the community.”

Wenberg, the victim who was run over by the violent crew, said the attack is further evidence that police need the support and funding to help keep the community safe, KGW reported.

“The police department needs to get the resources they need,” he said. “I mean, if you don’t fear being caught or prosecuted, this is what happens.”

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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