Four teenagers have been arrested for allegedly slaughtering 920 chickens at a Foster Farms facility in Caruthers, California, police said.
Fresno County police said the animals were killed with a golf club and another blunt object on Sept. 20 after the suspects entered a chicken shed by pulling back part of the facility's fence.
Police on Wednesday announced the arrest of 18-year-old Gabriel Quintero, of Riverdale; two males, ages 15 and 17, from Caruthers; and a 17-year-old male from Lemoore.
Foster Farms said the chickens were worth about $5,000. The company called the killing an “unconscionable act of animal cruelty.” The nonprofit Animal Defense League had offered a $5,000 reward Wednesday for any information leading to the arrest of the perpetrators. Foster Farms had also offered a reward.
Fresno County police said in a news release that local news coverage produced several tips that led to the arrests. Detectives also learned information on the attack and possible suspects from monitoring social media.
Evidence at a home in Caruthers linked the 15-year-old and a 17-year-old to the crime, Fresno County police said. Both were taken into custody without incident.
Another 17-year-old was taken into custody at a home near Lemoore.
Quintero was then arrested at an apartment in Fresno. He was booked on charges of burglary and felony cruelty to animals.
It was not immediately clear if he had a lawyer.
The three other teenagers were taken to the Fresno Juvenile Justice Center and also booked for burglary and felony cruelty to animals charges.
Caruthers is about 17 miles southwest of Fresno.