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Mother alleges unfair treatment of juvenile son

Three men suspected in the theft of 10 recreational vehicles were back on the streets less than 24 hours after their arrest Wednesday, while a juvenile suspect arrested the same day remains incarcerated, and the boy's mother said Saturday she's furious about their release.

Mary Navarro, mother of a 17-year-old boy who was arrested for involvement in the theft, said she saw the three adult suspects, all in their 20s, playing football Saturday at White Mountain Middle School in White City.

"In less than 24 hours, these men are out already," Navarro said. "All they did was walk in one door, get a slap on the hand, and go out the other door. We are wondering why we have all these problems with kids and society. This is the reason."

Fernando Rafael Ayala-Montanez, 24, of White City; Michael Allen St. Arnold, 27, of Eagle Point; Vincent Avina Ayala Jr., 27, of White City, and Navarro's son were arrested at around 8 p.m. Wednesday for breaking into Rotax Performance Machines, 3811 Crater Lake Highway, and stealing six snowmobiles and four all-terrain vehicles between last weekend and Wednesday.

All of the items were recovered by the police at the homes of the suspects and their friends.

Navarro said the suspects asked her to store some of the items, saying they were moving.

Each of the four suspects was charged with aggravated theft and first-degree theft. The three adult suspects also were charged with second-degree criminal mischief.

The three men spent a night in jail before being released on their own recognizance just after 7 p.m. Thursday on an order by Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Ron Grensky. They are scheduled for a preliminary hearing March 3.

Navarro's son, whose name is not mentioned because he is a minor, also appeared in court Thursday but was ordered to stay in juvenile detention until his next court hearing Feb. 17 based on the recommendation of his caseworker, Navarro said.

"He has never been in trouble with the law," Navarro said. "He has never been in trouble at school, yet he's still in jail and the other young men are enjoying playing football."

Reach reporter Paris Achen at 541-776-4459 or pachen@mailtribune.com.