Chesterton Tribune



Police 16-year-old boy crashes two stolen vehicles in pursuits

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A 16-year-old boy was being detained today on multiple charges after authorities said that he stole two vehicles on Wednesday--and crashed them both in police pursuits--before being taken into custody.

According to the Porter County Sheriff’s Police, at 6:15 p.m. Lt. Jason Praschak was patrolling in the area of U.S. Highway 6 and C.R. 75W in Liberty Township when he observed a red Dodge van with a stolen license plate. Praschak activated his emergency lights and attempted to perform a traffic stop on the van but the driver--later identified as a 16-year-old boy from the Valparaiso area--failed to stop and a pursuit ensued, the PCSP said.

During the course of the pursuit the boy “turned off his headlights in an attempt to further evade the officer” and subsequently crashed the van in the area of C.R. 200W and C.R. 875N, the PCSP said. The boy’s passenger--a juvenile girl--escaped injury in the crash and was later released to her parents but the boy fled on foot, the PCSP said.

A K-9 unit was dispatched to the scene and a track was begun of the suspect. In the meantime, however, at 9:02 p.m., a resident of the 100 west block of C.R. 850N reported that his black Chrysler 300 had just been stolen, the PCSP said.

Less than an hour later, at 9:50 p.m., Valparaiso Police Officer Chris Allison was patrolling Campbell Street when he located the stolen Chrysler 300. Allison and other officers subsequently attempted to perform a traffic stop on the car in the area of Glendale Blvd. and Valparaiso Street but the driver--the Chrysler’s only occupant and later confirmed to be the boy in the earlier pursuit--fled and another pursuit ensued, police said.

Officers followed the Chrysler southbound on Valparaiso Street, northbound on Calumet Ave., eastbound on Vale Park Road, and finally southbound on Silhavy Road, where in the area of Boilermaker Drive the boy crashed into a utility pole, police said.

The boy was taken into custody, treated at Porter Regional Hospital, then transported to the Juvenile Detention Center, where he was being held on delinquency charges of resisting law enforcement, auto theft, theft, and operating a vehicle without ever obtaining a driver’s license.

The boy also proved to be wanted on a warrant issued through the State of Florida and charging him with grand theft auto, the PCSP noted.

No one else was injured in either crash but the VPD did note that damage to the utility pole caused a brief power outage.


Posted 2/9/2017





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