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Teens arrested in clubbing deaths of 920 Foster Farms chickens

Four teenagers have been arrested on suspicion of bludgeoning 920 chickens to death with a golf club at a Foster Farms facility in Fresno County, authorities said Thursday.

Fresno County sheriff's detectives monitored social media for clues about the attack and received several tips that eventually led them to the suspects, who were identified as 18-year-old Riverdale resident Gabriel Quintero, a 17-year-old boy from Lemoore and 15- and 17-year-old boys from Caruthers.

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They were arrested Wednesday on suspicion of animal cruelty and burglary. Authorities said they recovered evidence from the teenagers' homes linking them to the scene.

In a statement Thursday, Foster Farms thanked law enforcement for the swift investigation.

"Foster Farms actively worked with law enforcement to facilitate the arrest of the individuals charged with this unconscionable act of animal cruelty," said Ira Brill, the company's director of communications.

Foster Farms, he added, will work with local authorities to distribute a $5,000 reward it offered in the case.

Investigators say the teens pulled back a wall to one of the chicken sheds and entered the Foster Farms facility in Caruthers on Sept. 20.

Once inside, they used a golf club and another unknown blunt object to kill almost 1,000 chickens.

Authorities said a piece of the golf club was found at the scene.

Foster Farms estimated the chickens were worth $5,000.

The company and the Animal Legal Defense Fund offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the attack.

For breaking news in Los Angeles and throughout California, follow @VeronicaRochaLA. She can be reached at veronica.rocha@latimes.com.

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