Teen couple in custody; police probe 3-state spree

Julie Carr Smyth
Associated Press

Columbus, Ohio — A teen couple from Ohio who authorities suspect in a crime spree spanning 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, had been reported missing on Monday. Family members had expressed fear for their safety.

Now, West Virginia and Pennsylvania state police are jointly investigating a series of crimes — including armed robbery, car theft and fleeing from police — that may be connected to the juveniles.

Authorities did not immediately say if any charges had been filed against the teens. 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 Walmart in Bucyrus, about 20 miles east of Upper Sandusky. They continued east toward Pennsylvania, where reports said they were suspected to be hiding out in a wooded area as of Friday night.

At around 2 a.m. Saturday, police were called to an armed robbery in progress at the P&W mini-mart in Elizabeth Township, Allegheny County, authorities told CBS Pittsburgh. An officer was injured after grabbing the trailer hitch and being dragged some distance before falling off, authorities said.

The teens’ parents were notified they’d been apprehended Saturday and were traveling to New Martinsville, West Virginia, to meet with investigators, the sheriff in Ohio said.

Dispatchers in Wyandot County and the West Virginia State Police said they had no further information to release Saturday.