Teen arrested in string of home burglaries in Merced

A 14-year-old boy was arrested Monday after Merced police said he burglarized at least four homes while wearing a probation ankle monitor.

According to police, the teenager admitted breaking into the homes and stealing numerous items, which he told detectives he sold on the street. An estimate of the stolen property’s value was not available Tuesday.

“The juvenile has been arrested several times in the past for residential burglaries,” Sgt. Scott Skinner said in a statement. “The juvenile admitted his goal was to at least commit one residential burglary a week.”

He told police all the burglaries happened between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. and said his strategy was to walk around neighborhoods until he spotted people leaving their homes. Once the residents had left, the teen said, he would get into the homes and steal whatever he could.

The locations of the burglaries were not released. Police said three of the homes are in northern Merced and the fourth is somewhere in the central area.

The teenager showed police each home he admitted to burglarizing, police said in the statement.

He was wanted on suspected probation violations and a warrant had been issued for his arrest on Nov. 11, police said.

The teenager was booked at the juvenile hall without bail on suspicion of four counts of residential burglary.