They had Halloween masks, two-way radios and a getaway car. They hadplanned to empty a Pasadena gun store and sell the weapons on the street.
But an alert neighbor and inattentive lookouts kept a group of teen-agers from carrying out their early morning burglary Wednesday, police say.
Police arrested one 14-year-old boy, who was charged as a juvenile with attempted breaking and entering and with being a rogue and vagabond.
Police say they know the names of the three others, who range in age from 15 to 18, and are building a conspiracy case against them.
"Apparently, this had been planned for about a week or so," said Anne Arundel County Police Detective Bobby L. Evans.
Police say the 14-year-old told them the group planned to "take as many guns as we could to sell and shoot."
A neighbor saw two boys circle Bart's Sports World, in the 2400 block of Mountain Road, at about 1:20 a.m. and called the police. The caller said one boy was carrying a bag in one hand a hammer in the other.
A police officer drove behind the store, saw a 14-year-old boy and ran after him.
The boy droppedhis bag, and a handheld two-way radio, a clown mask and a white hat fell out. The officer caught the boy behind a nearby house and recovered the hammer.
Evans said despite having three lookouts stationedat street corners around the store, a marked police car was able to drive up to the store and park. "Whoever was the lookout wasn't looking too good," he said.
The boy who was caught had his radio turnedon, meaning the lookout could have quickly sent a warning. "I'm surprised that even one of them got caught," Evans said.
The 14-year-old, who was released to his father's custody, told police the group tried to break into the gun shop last Monday, police say.
But, the boy said, they failed to disconnect the alarm -- which went off -- and the police arrived. At that time, authorities believed the alarm had malfunctioned.
Evans said he also is looking into a shoplifting complaint from a 7-Eleven store that came in about a half-hour beforethe attempted gun shop burglary.
He said three youths walked out with several cartons of cigarettes and drove away in a 1988 Nissan Maxima -- the same car used at the gun shop. He said the car belongs tothe father of one of the teens.
Evans said he did not know if theteens had a buyer for the guns, and he said he has not talked to anyof their parents yet.