DATE/TIME: Thursday, September 7th, 2006 / 04:30 PM

Four city youths have been arrested for stealing items from nearly 30 vehicles in the Central Park area. In every case, the boys took advantage of unlocked vehicles.

The incidents took place on three separate nights in August, culminating on August 21st when they entered 18 vehicles. That night, patrol officers apprehended three of the boys in an alleyway along Central Parkway. The fourth boy was arrested today.

Cell phones, loose change, tools, clothing and other small value items were taken from 29 vehicles. The thefts occurred during the early morning hours after the boys snuck out of their homes. Most of the stolen property has been recovered.

The boys 15, 14, 14 and 12 are charged with the misdemeanor of Petit Larceny. They were turned over to their parents and petitioned to Family Court. Their names cannot be released due to their ages. The 12-year-old is also charged with the felony of Burglary-3rd degree for stealing a bike from a garage. In an unrelated incident, the 15-year-old was also arrested on Tuesday after fleeing from officers while driving a stolen vehicle.

Residents are urged to always lock vehicle doors and keep valuables out of sight by locking them in an interior compartment or the trunk, or by storing them under a seat. These basic and common sense measures may prevent them from being victimized.