WHITEHALL, Ohio (WCMH) — Five teenagers were arrested Wednesday after they were found trying to steal a vehicle in Whitehall; however, police said three of the teens escaped custody.
According to Whitehall Police, the arrested juveniles were an 11-year-old, two 13-year-olds, a 15-year-old, and a 16-year-old.
Officers responded to the area of Broad Street and Hamilton Road at approximately 9:09 a.m. for a call reporting eight or nine juveniles getting out of a vehicle, police said. The caller allegedly told police they did not think the teens looked old enough to drive and that the car they had may have been stolen.
Officers were able to find the vehicle when they got to the location, finding the car had been reported stolen to Columbus Police, Whitehall Police said.
Four of the teens were found by officers trying to steal another car, breaking out a window to the vehicle, and had tools with them to use in stealing the car, police said. The four teens were arrested at the scene.
One of the teens arrested had warrants for their arrest for robbery, was on house arrest, and was supposed to be wearing an ankle monitor, police said. Police said the teen had cut the monitor off and left his home earlier that morning.
A fifth teen was caught when trying to get back to the first stolen vehicle, according to police. He was caught when officers blocked the car from leaving and was arrested on the spot, police said.
Whitehall Police said the other teens reported at the scene drove off in a waiting car, which police said was also stolen. Police did not pursue the stolen vehicle due to concerns for public safety.
The five teens arrested have been charged with felonies.
According to Whitehall Police, officers contacted the Franklin County Juvenile Detention Center to take in the teens, but officers said they were told the detention center could only take the teen who was under house arrest.
“The other four juveniles were taken to the Village Network Reception Center, which is the only alternative location for law enforcement when juveniles are not accepted at the Franklin County Juvenile Detention Center,” police wrote on Twitter. “Shortly after being taken there, the Reception Center notified the Whitehall Police Department that three of the juveniles snuck out and are back on the streets.”