Vero News

4 teens charged in vehicle theft; high-speed chase

handcuffs on the wooden desk, crime concept

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — Four teenagers were jailed after they stole a Ford pickup from Sebastian and led officers on a high-speed chase on the interstate last weekend, deputies said.

There were firearms inside the truck at the time of the theft, reports show. The truck reached speeds exceeding 100 mph on southbound Interstate 95 as the driver fled from deputies, officials said.

The boys involved were a 15-year-old from Vero Beach, a 16-year-old and a 13-year-old both from Fort Pierce, and a 15-year-old from Sebastian. The Vero Beach teen was charged with grand theft auto and aggravated fleeing and eluding.

The other three youth each were charged with grand theft auto and possession of burglary tools. All four were taken to the St. Lucie Regional Juvenile Detention Center in Fort Pierce.

The incident unfolded shortly after midnight Friday when Melbourne police attempted to stop the stolen truck. Melbourne police suspected the youth used the truck while committing several auto burglaries in the city, reports show.

The truck driver fled from Melbourne officers and Brevard County deputies on southbound I-95. Indian River County deputies also tried to conduct a traffic stop on the stolen vehicle.

Deputies said that at one point, the truck weaved across all three lanes of traffic, almost causing a crash. The truck driver took the Orange Avenue exit in Fort Pierce and traveled westbound.

The truck drove through a red light at Orange Avenue and Kings Highway. The truck driver turned onto another road that led to a dead end, reports show.

An Indian River sheriff’s helicopter tracked the driver, the Vero Beach teen, as he ran from the truck. The other teens still in the truck – wearing masks, gloves and long-sleeve clothing – were detained.

Deputies found a Glock handgun on the passenger side of the pickup, reports show. A sheriff’s K-9 unit eventually detained the driver, who had ran into the woods.

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