PENDLETON - The juvenile burglary suspect taken into protective custody Thursday has been identified as Derek Juarez, who was living in foster care near Oregon Trail Manor and is suspected of breaking in to the facility and stealing jewelry.
According to Pendleton Police Chief Stuart Roberts, Juarez, 17, of Ontario, was found hiding in a room at Oregon Trail Manor after several people reported seeing him flee from a home in the 1800 block of Southwest Runnion Place at around 1:10 p.m., after a residential intrusion alarm sounded.
When police arrived at the residence, they found that access had been forcibly gained into the residence through the back door, but no one was inside.
However, a neighbor reported seeing a juvenile male running from the residence, and also reported seeing the boy throw a backpack into a nearby yard.
Shortly thereafter, officers took Juarez into protective custody and lodged him at the Umatilla County Juvenile Detention Center in Pendleton on charges of first-degree burglary, first-degree theft and criminal mischief.
"This case is a prime example of citizens working with the police department to ensure the safety and security of the community," Roberts said of the cooperation of neighbors. "The police department applauds the willingness of the victim's neighbor to get involved."
Officers discovered jewelry and cash in the backpack that apparently had been taken from Oregon Trail Manor.
Juarez is on probation in Malheur County.