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Teenagers Arrested In Clubbing Of 920 Chickens At Central Valley Foster Farms Plant

FRESNO (CBS SF) -- Authorities in Fresno County have arrested an 18-year-old and three juveniles in connection with the clubbing of more than 900 chickens at a Foster Farms plant last month.

According to a statement from the Fresno County Sheriff's Office, 18-year-old Gabriel Quintero of Riverdale, two teens ages 15 and 17 from Caruthers and a 17-year-old from Lemoore were arrested on Wednesday.

Gabriel Quintara (Fresno County Sheriff's Office)

Investigators said a group of intruders broke into the Foster Farms facility in Caruthers, near Fresno on the morning of September 20th. The group slaughtered the chickens with a golf clubs, according to investigators.

Foster Farms said 920 birds were killed, with an estimated value of around $5,000. The incident prompted Foster Farms and animal rights groups to offer rewards in the case.

Detectives said a tip and information spread on social media about the possible suspects led to the arrests.

Fresno County Sheriff's Office spokesman Christian Curtice told KPIX 5 "multiple golf clubs were used, at least two" to kill the chickens.

Curtice said once the story was publicized, crucial details began to emerge within hours on social media.

"The media attention was extremely helpful," said Curtice.  "In a small town like that, it didn't take long before somebody said something that we could go on."

Curtice did not offer details on what was talked about on social media or which platforms were used, but said the suspects did not brag about the crime.

All four suspects have been booked on charges of burglary and felony cruelty to animals. Quintero was transported to the Fresno County Jail, while the three juveniles were taken to the Fresno County Juvenile Justice Center.

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