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BOARDMAN Police suspect teens in car thefts



Published: Sat, March 8, 2003 @ 12:00 a.m.



More than 30 cars have been stolen in the past two weeks.

By JOHN W. GOODWIN JR.

VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER

BOARDMAN -- Township police are investigating another string of car thefts in the township, but officers believe they know who the culprits are.

Police charged four juveniles with a string of car thefts two weeks ago, and they believe the teens were involved in some of the latest thefts.

Two cars were stolen last week from Applecrest Court and cars were stolen on Indianola Road, Southern Boulevard, Aravesta Avenue, Brookwood Road and Glenwood Avenue. Most of the cars were late-'80s and early-'90s General Motors models.

No arrests have been made. Capt. Jack Nichols said the cars that have been recovered are being searched for evidence.

Nichols said police believe four Youngstown youths, two age 13 and the others 15 and 16, were arrested two weeks ago inr an earlier rash of car thefts, are responsible for most of the thefts.

Two weeks ago the boys abandoned a stolen 1992 Chevrolet Blazer that had apparently run out of gas in the middle of U.S. Route 224.

After a foot chase through a nearby grocery store, the boys were placed under arrest and charged with felony receiving stolen property and resisting arrest.

Nichols said the youths at that time told police they were responsible for about 20 car thefts in the township. He said the boys would steal one car, joy ride for a while, abandon the vehicle, then steal another one close by. The boys stole the cars simply for the thrill, Nichols said,

No consequences?

The teens were taken to the juvenile justice center. The 15-year-old and one of the 13-year-olds were released two days later. The 16-year-old and the other 13-year-old remain in juvenile justice center custody.

Now, police say, the boys may again be getting a thrill out of stealing cars here. According to Nichols, the teens did not take being arrested seriously and told police they would do it again once released from the juvenile center.

"They just don't care because they feel JJC won't do anything to them anyway," he said. "They said it was like a game to them and once they got out, they would do it again. We believe they did it again."

Nichols said no one witnessed the thefts and there is not enough evidence to charge anyone at this point.

Police are also looking into a situation where a car was stolen, then returned to the owner's home a few days later. The 1988 Buick was reported stolen Feb. 26. The owner called police Saturday and said it was found on the side of her Glenwood Avenue housing complex.

jgoodwin@vindy.com




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