Teen couple in custody; police probe 3-state crime spree
Series of crimes may be connected to the juveniles, including armed robbery, car theft and fleeing from police
By Julie Carr Smyth
COLUMBUS, Ohio — A teen couple from Ohio who authorities suspect of a crime spree across three states was apprehended in West Virginia after a police pursuit, investigators said Saturday.
The sheriff's office in Wyandot County, Ohio, said the 16-year-old boy and 15-year-old girl were in the custody of West Virginia State Police. The two crashed a vehicle that had been stolen in Pennsylvania and fled on foot before they were caught, authorities said.
The teens, from the communities of Upper Sandusky and Sycamore in northwest Ohio, had been reported missing Monday. Family members had expressed fear for their safety.
Now, West Virginia and Pennsylvania state police are jointly investigating a series of crimes that may be connected to the juveniles, including armed robbery, car theft and fleeing from police. Authorities did not immediately say if any charges were filed against the teenagers. The Associated Press is not naming them because of their ages.
Sheriff Michael Hetzel told WTVG-TV earlier this week that the two fled Ohio in a stolen pickup truck after allegedly stealing shotgun shells from a Wal-Mart in Bucyrus, about 20 miles east of Upper Sandusky. They allegedly continued east toward Pennsylvania, stealing one or maybe two more vehicles and evading law enforcement possibly by hiding out in wooded areas.
Police were called Thursday to an armed robbery at the P&W mini-mart in Elizabeth Township in Allegheny County, authorities told CBS Pittsburgh. An officer sustained minor injuries after grabbing a trailer hitch and being dragged some distance before falling off, authorities said.
Elizabeth Township Police Chief David Kerestes said dozens of responders searched for the teens. He told TribLive.com that a similar manhunt was conducted in Brookville on Wednesday.
The teens' parents were notified their children had been apprehended and the parents traveled to New Martinsville, West Virginia, to meet with investigators, the sheriff in Ohio said.
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