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CHP Goes the Extra Mile to Net Two Youths

Times Staff Writer

Just two weeks before the Indianapolis 500, California Highway Patrol units were involved in a 250-mile endurance run of their own Tuesday morning against a pair of juveniles in a stolen car.

The CHP won.

Breezing along in a 1980 Plymouth believed stolen in Bellflower, the youths, ages 16 and 14, were chased by law officers from three counties for more than three hours on California 99. The chase ended when the youths ran out of gas just south of the Fresno County line, authorities said.

Fresno CHP Officer Jim Taylor said the car, which had hit a top speed of 95 m.p.h., “kind of lurched forward and stopped” in the Tulare County town of Traver.

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“They sure got good gas mileage,” Taylor added.

Cash, Dagger Found

The youths, whose names were not released because of their ages, attempted to flee on foot but were quickly apprehended. They were booked at Tulare County juvenile hall on suspicion of auto theft.

More than $1,100 in cash was found in the stolen car. And a dagger was found on the 16-year-old driver, Fresno CHP Officer Mike Spicer said.

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“There is an indication they may have been involved in a robbery,” said Sgt. Jerry Greene of the Los Angeles County sheriff’s substation in Lakewood.

Greene said sheriff’s detectives had been dispatched to Tulare to bring back the suspects.

The chase began at about 1:50 a.m., about 20 minutes after the owner of the car phoned Lakewood deputies to say he had witnessed the theft.

Patrol units as well as one sheriff’s helicopter and one Los Angeles police helicopter pursued the car through Los Angeles County.

The race ended at about 5:10 a.m.


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