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Oakdale Police are in search of a known 17-year-old suspect who fled the scene leaving behind a sawed-off shotgun and ski mask after officers were called to the area of Stenson Drive and Branding Iron Street on Sunday, Aug 19.

Officer Warren Bradford was dispatched to the area of the railroad tracks behind Stenson Drive regarding a suspicious circumstance where a group of juveniles were believed to be drinking alcohol.

When he arrived near the location, Officer Bradford was able to observe five juvenile males gathered behind a fenced area. He was able to confirm the subjects were in possession of alcohol and recognized some of the individuals from prior police contacts.

As Officer Bradford approached, one of the subjects ran from the scene leaving behind a backpack. The other juveniles complied with Officer Bradford’s instructions to remain in the area for him to contact them.

When Officer Bradford searched the discarded backpack, he located a loaded sawed-off 12-gauge shotgun.

“The hammer was cocked back on the gun,” said Police Chief Lester Jenkins. “That’s an extremely dangerous way to be carrying the thing.”

Chief Jenkins described the shotgun as being modified by having the barrel sawed down to the wood stock and the butt also shortened. Jenkins said a ski mask was also recovered in the backpack.

According to police, one of the other juvenile subjects had a box of 12-gauge shotgun shells in his backpack that he told police he was “holding” for the juvenile that fled.

Chief Jenkins said police know the identity of the 17-year-old and are in the process of trying to locate him.

Oakdale Police and other local agencies do not have any reports of robberies or assaults where a sawed-off shotgun and mask were used.

For the complete story, see the Sept. 15 edition of The Leader