LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. — Five teenagers allegedly led police on a chase early Wednesday morning in a stolen vehicle, according to Lancaster City Police.
The teens — four boys (three 14-year-olds and a 16-year-old) and a 13-year-old girl — face charges of receiving stolen property and violating curfew. The juvenile allegations were filed with Lancaster County Juvenile Probation.
Police received a report of the stolen vehicle, a 2019 Honda Civic white sedan, just after 2:30 a.m. Tuesday. The vehicle, which had the key inside, was taken when the owner was inside a home in the 600 block of Euclid Avenue visiting a friend, police say.
Around 1:47 a.m. Wednesday, a friend of the owner spotted the Honda in the area of South Queen and Hazel Streets in Lancaster City. Police checked the area but did not find the vehicle.
That same caller alerted police at 2:22 a.m. that the Honda was seen in the area of Rosewood Terrace Apartments in East Lampeter Township. Officers responded and later saw the vehicle on Old Philadelphia Pike.
A traffic stop was initiated but the driver refused to stop, leading police on a pursuit through parts of East Lampeter Township and into Lancaster Township — heading west on Lincoln Highway East (Route 462).
As the driver passed the intersection of East King Street and Ranck Avenue, a Lancaster City officer deployed stop sticks to safely deflate the vehicle tires and stop the pursuit, according to police.
Police say the vehicle was stopped near the intersection of East King Street and North Broad Street where five minors were inside.
Police issued the following reminder to residents:
Do not leave valuable items like purses, wallets, phones, laptops, jewelry, firearms and cash in a vehicle. Thieves are always on the lookout for easy targets and unattended vehicles containing valuable items are just that. We would also remind residents to lock your cars doors and never leave a key to the vehicle in or around the vehicle. Most cars manufactured today have standard anti-theft features that make it difficult to steal a vehicle without the key.
Most car thieves are looking for targets that are easy to steal and providing them access to the key makes it all too easy to steal. Do not leave your vehicle unattended with the keys in the ignition while warming up the car or running into a store for a few moments. Thieves target locations like gas stations and convenience store parking lots looking for vehicles with the keys in the ignition. Take the time to turn off the car, lock it and take your keys with you.