A modern-day posse used a plane and four-wheel-drive vehicles to track and arrest two armed 15-year-olds who allegedly stole horses and fled into the rugged southwestern Utah desert, lawmen said.

Iron and Washington county authorities said the boys, who were arrested Monday, had run away and planned on "living off the land."The boys have been referred to the St. George Youth Detention Center where lawmen plan to charge them in the theft of horses, guns and hay, said Iron County Sheriff Ira Schoppmann.

The youths led lawmen on a three-day chase before they were caught, the sheriff said.

Schoppmann said the boys, both from Enterprise, were reported missing Friday. A horse belonging to the parents of one of the boys was stolen, he said.

The pair were spotted briefly Sunday night, but deputies lost track of them in heavy rains early Monday morning.

Mounted deputies, an airplane and four-wheel-drive vehicles picked up the trail after sun-up, Schoppmann said.

Deputies also had reports that a thoroughbred horse had been stolen from an Enterprise resident, as well as the apparent theft of a saddle and a pair of chaps from a nearby tack shed, the sheriff said.

Lawmen tracked the boys through the day and caught up with them about 12:30 p.m. They surrendered without incident near old Beryl Town, about 50 miles north of St. George, about 12:30 p.m., Schoppmann said.

They were armed with a handgun, shotgun and a .22-caliber rifle, he said.