By Joseph Kolb
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (Reuters) - Police in New Mexico have arrested six teenage boys in connection with the murder of a man who was fatally shot in the driveway of his Albuquerque home early one morning last month, authorities said on Friday.
Steve Gerecke, a 59-year-old bartender, was gunned down after confronting a group of youths who were breaking into cars and homes in his street at about 3 a.m. on June 26, police said.
The incident was an example of what one of the suspects referred to in a police report as "mobbing," in which a group of teens band together to steal from vehicles and residences.
"This is something we have never seen before," the city's police chief, Gorden Eden, told a news conference on Friday. "This is new to Albuquerque."
He said investigators were led to the suspects through surveillance video and the use of stolen credit cards, and that the teenagers were arrested on Thursday.
Four of the six will be charged as adults, police said. They were named as Ryan Archibeque, 17, Christopher Rodriguez, 16, Jeremiah King, 16, and Andrew Hubler, 15. Two 14-year-old boys will be charged as juveniles.
According to the criminal complaint, one of the suspects told detectives that King initially shot Gerecke three times, then twice more, and later bragged to the others that he had shot the victim in the face.
The suspect told police the teenagers stole money and a television from a nearby home before Gerecke confronted them, according to the criminal complaint.
The group later stole two SUVs and went to a McDonald's restaurant, where one of the teens used Gerecke's credit card, according to the complaint.
(Reporting by Joseph Kolb; Editing by Daniel Wallis; Editing by Sandra Maler)