A 16 year-old boy was taken into custody early Thursday morning after an alert homeowner confronted him while the juvenile was allegedly breaking into vehicles and stealing items from them. 

Missoula County Sheriff's Department Lieutenant Scott Newell said the homeowner was awakened by the sound of someone breaking into a vehicle.

"Apparently, there were two juvenile males who were breaking into vehicles and stealing in the Target Range area early Thursday morning," Newell said. "The homeowner, carrying a handgun, confronted the juvenile, and told him to stop what he was doing. The homeowner then called 9-1-1. While the homeowner was on the phone, the juvenile moved to a different vehicle and was rummaging through it."

Newell said deputies removed the handgun from the homeowner, and kept it in safekeeping while they arrested the juvenile.

"When deputies tried to talk to the juvenile, he turned and attempted to walk away," Newell said. "They grabbed hold of the male, who struggled to try to break free. He was eventually handcuffed and placed in the back of a patrol vehicle."

Newell said the juvenile was cited for several crimes, including theft,criminal trespass to a motor vehicle, resisting arrest, misdemeanor possession of dangerous drugs and felony theft for some of the items that were taken.

"Some expensive camera equipment was taken," Newell said. " Several bikes were stolen, some of which were thrown into the river. He was also charged with criminal mischief."

The juvenile refused to identify his companion, and was released to his mother after being booked into the Missoula County Jail.

Newell said the homeowner did not point the handgun at the juvenile, and he was not charged with a crime.

Detective Scott Newell