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Mall locked down in response to armed juveniles

Two juveniles were arrested in connection to a string of auto burglaries
Farmington Police Department arrested two juveniles Saturday who are believed to be connected to a string of auto burglaries and a crash involving a stolen vehicle. (Durango Herald file photo)

Animas Valley Mall was placed on lockdown early Saturday morning after juveniles, reportedly carrying firearms, were observed there.

The juveniles were arrested and are believed to be connected to a string of auto burglaries in the area Friday night.

Farmington police officers were dispatched to the mall about 9:45 a.m. to investigate “two incoherent juvenile subjects.”

Officers located the two youths, one of whom had blood down the front of his pants. The other subject reportedly had a handgun in his waistband and was incoherent. Police arrested the youth with the handgun, but the other fled the scene.

“Medics were dispatched to check on the first juvenile who was still incoherent during his arrest,” police spokeswoman Shanice Gonzales said.

Police put the mall on lockdown as a safety precaution and began a search for the other subject, who was reportedly hiding in a nearby store.

After securing the handgun, police discovered it was one of two handguns stolen in a string of auto burglaries the night before. During the auto burglary investigation, police found a large amount of blood on some of the burglarized vehicles.

When police later located the second juvenile hiding at Dad’s Diner, located south of the mall on Largo Street. Officers observed “blood all down the front of their pants,” according to an FPD news release.

“The juvenile with the dried blood on Saturday was not injured or bleeding at the time of the arrest and did not require medical attention,” Gonzales said.

When asked where the blood came from, Gonzales said, “That is part of the investigation.”

The second juvenile was reportedly in possession of the second stolen firearm. Both juveniles were taken into custody without incident.

Police also believe a vehicle that was found wrecked on Sunrise Parkway near Piñon Hills Golf Course, was allegedly stolen, driven by and crashed by the two juveniles arrested at the mall. Police say the youths left the scene of the crash on foot before officers arrived.

The events connected with the arrest of the two juveniles remain under investigation.