Youths' scavenger hunt results in theft charges COLUMBIA WEST

November 03, 1992|By Alan J. Craver | Alan J. Craver,Staff Writer

Six juveniles were arrested last weekend after they allegedly stole road signs and a chair from The Mall in Columbia as part of a scavenger hunt at Wilde Lake High School, county police said.

The juveniles, whose names were not released by police, were charged with theft and released to the custody of their parents after their arrests Friday night, police said.

The students told officers that the items were taken for the senior class' annual scavenger hunt, said Sgt. Gary Gardner, a police spokesman.

The officers obtained a list of items that were to be gathered during the scavenger hunt from the students and warned organizers to prohibit participants from taking any other items, Sergeant Gardner said.

"The officers were able to put a wrinkle in the scavenger hunt so it wouldn't continue and have more property taken," he said.

Two juveniles were charged after officers spotted them removing a stop sign at Trumpeter Road and Lynx Lane in Wilde Lake village, police said. The officer also found a Century 21 real estate sign in their vehicle.

Meanwhile, another officer saw a white wooden chair with four other students in a car traveling along Twin Rivers Road in Wilde Lake and pulled over the vehicle about 11 p.m., police said.

The officer learned that the chair had been taken from the Columbia mall.

Mall management notified police that four chairs, including the white one, had been stolen Friday between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m., police said.

The other chairs are believed to have been stolen by other teams on the scavenger hunt.

Sergeant Gardner said the Police Department investigates thefts related to scavenger hunts at county high schools several times a year. In the past, stolen items have included signs, mailboxes and license plates from police cruisers, he said.

The items are supposed to be returned to their owners once points have been tallied after the traditional hunts, but the participants often don't follow through with the rule, Sergeant Gardner said.

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