THAYER -- Freedom for four Howell County boys ages 12 to 14, was short lived last week after officers with the Thayer Police Department found them in Thayer.
Thayer Police Chief Frank Bernard said his office was first notified of the possible runaways earlier in the day by West Plains law enforcement officials and Troop G officers from Willow Springs.
"We were told to be on the lookout for the boys in a maroon Chevrolet pick-up." Bernard said. West Plains officers also said a stolen gun might be in the truck.
The truck was reported stolen from the parking lot of DRS Technologies located at 1601 Old Airport Road in West Plains. The gun was reported stolen from another vehicle in the same parking lot.
"When we found the truck in Thayer it had a license plate on it that had been stolen in Willow Springs," the police chief said.
The pickup truck was discovered at 8:23 p.m. Feb. 22 on Locust Street in Thayer.
Bernard said after a short foot pursuit involving one of the boys and a Thayer officer, all four juveniles were arrested and turned over to juvenile officers from the 37th Judicial District.
Bernard said the truck was returned to the owner and the gun was turned over to West Plains law enforcement officers.
All four boys had been reported missing by their parents earlier in the day Feb. 22.
Because of the boys' ages their names have not been released.