Thanks to the help of several west-side residents Thursday, Salt Lake police captured and arrested six teenagers believed to have been involved in a string of burglaries.

Residents in the area called police Thursday afternoon after they spotted several juveniles burglarizing homes on Emery Street between 1000 South and 1300 South.Officers determined that the juveniles were all hiding in the house of one of the juveniles whose parents were on vacation and called for backup officers to assist. The suspects then ran out from the house, forcing officers to chase after them.

"The only way we found them is because neighbors were pointing them out to us as we were chasing them . . . `They just ran through my backyard!' `Now they're by the fence,' " explained Salt Lake Police Sgt. Scott Atkinson.

"Everyone in the whole neighborhood came out of their houses to help. It was great!" he said. "Without their help, we would have caught nobody."

Six 14- and 15-year-old suspects were arrested and referred to juvenile court for investigation of burglary, theft and theft of firearms. Police said all six were wearing gang clothing and had gang connections. Officers were looking into the possibility that the youths were trading the stolen property for drugs.

Police recovered stolen property from the home where the suspects were hiding.

Atkinson said the suspects are also believed to be responsible for at least four other burglaries and a car theft in the area. "The area has really been hit hard in the last couple of weeks," he said.