Suspected teen burglar captured after chase
GREENVILLE — A 16 year old from LaGrange was in a youth detention center Tuesday after allegedly stealing a van, burglarizing homes in two counties and leading law enforcement officers on a high-speed chase Monday afternoon before crashing on Highway 54 near the community of Lone Oak in Meriwether County.
Investigators with the Troup County Sheriff’s Office said the teen’s alleged crime spree began after he hot-wired a 2006 white Dodge minivan and stole it Monday morning. The van was taken from a car lot at the intersection of Highway 27 and Lower Big Springs Road, stated the Meriwether sheriff’s office.
According to Troup investigators, a witness reported seeing the van around one of two homes that had been burglarized in Troup County on South Glenn and Perry Mill roads earlier in the day.
Meriwether County Sheriff Chuck Smith said around 12:45 p.m., one of his K-9 units was patrolling in the 1700 block of Roosevelt Highway near Greenville when he got an alert on his tag reader. It was the same van the teen is accused of stealing in Troup County.
The deputy stopped the van on Roosevelt Highway just north of Jarrell Road, Smith said. As the deputy got out of his car, the driver took off at high speed north on Roosevelt Highway.
The deputy pursued and attempted a PIT maneuver to stop the van at Roosevelt Highway at Highway 54, but was unsuccessful in stopping the van, which continued on Highway 54 toward Lone Oak, the sheriff added.
Smith said the pursuit ended on Highway 54 at Forrest Road when the Dodge Caravan ran into a ditch.
Two black male occupants fled from the vehicle.
Troup County Sheriff James Woodruff said deputies from Troup and Meriwether counties, troopers with the Georgia State Patrol, Hogansville police and LaGrange police K-9 units all met at the crash scene and worked together to capture the suspects.
The 16 year old was caught and arrested by a Meriwether County Sheriff Deputy and a Georgia State Patrol trooper off Forrest Road. The suspect’s name was withheld due to his age.
Troup County investigators said the teen and his accomplice allegedly stole numerous computers and flat-screen TVs that were recovered inside the van along other property they believe is stolen.
Smith believes the two are also responsible for a burglary in the 9800 block of Dallis Mill Road in Meriwether County.
Investigators with the Troup County Sheriff’s Office charged the teen with two counts of burglary first degree and felony theft of a vehicle.
The Meriwether County Sheriff’s Office charged the 16 year old with felony fleeing attempting to elude, reckless driving, speeding, no insurance, obstruction of an officer, theft by receiving stolen property and burglary.
Smith said additional charges are pending.
As of press time, the other person who fled from the van had not been caught.