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Boys Tied To High-Tech Break-Ins

A string of break-ins and burglaries has been linked to a group of 14-year-old boys whom police allege were assembling a first-class computer out of stolen components.

Three of the boys were arrested last week and two others have been questioned. They were later released to their parents. All could face burglary charges, police said.

Four of the teenagers are students at Redmond Junior High where some are honor students, said Principal Billie Arneson.

“These are not stereotypical troublemaker kids,” Arneson said. “They wouldn’t have been stereotyped as habitual problems.”

The group, who allegedly called themselves the “Anarchist Guild,” used vacant houses as their headquarters, police said. The motive for the burglaries was to build a computer for the group’s ringleader, officers said.

The boys also used the Internet to download information from “The Anarchist Cookbook,” a popular 1960s guide to a variety of illegal activities from bomb-making to processing drugs.

Police spokesman Ed Billington said the mother of one boy noticed that he and a friend were carrying several bags of computer parts. After the boys were not able to explain where the parts had come from, the mother called police.

After questioning, the boys were linked to four burglaries and several other incidents. The first was in July when the owner of a vacant house discovered mail-order packages delivered to the house.

The package contained a BB gun and remote-control parts. Police say the home had been used as the boys’ hangout and a place for them to receive fraudulently ordered goods.

Two computers were stolen from another house, and several weeks later, the homeowner received a telephone bill for $300. The youths apparently copied a credit-card number from a receipt and then tapped a telephone line to call a 13-year-old girl they had met on the Internet.