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Police: 14-year-old charged with stealing, crashing car

By Shavonne Walker

shavonne.walker@salisburypost.com

Salisbury Police discovered a 14-year-old behind the wheel of a car reported stolen from Marriott hotel late Monday. The teen and his brother, 11, took police on a chase, crashed into a tree and abandoned the vehicle.

A guest at the hotel, Thomas James Murphy of Georgia, said he walked out of the hotel, located at 120 Marriott Circle, around 6:50 a.m. Monday morning to discover his 2010 Volvo was missing. Police watched a surveillance video and saw two black males get into the car around midnight.

In addition to the car, the thieves took a $3,000 bicycle and $1,500 worth of golf clubs that were attached to the top of the vehicle. Police believe the doors were unlocked and the key was still inside.

Around 11 p.m. another police officer spotted a 2010 Volvo with a license plate tag light that was burned out on Statesville Boulevard. The driver, a young black male with a small Afro, stopped the vehicle and then quickly took off when the officer got out of his patrol car.

The driver took the officer on a chase reaching speeds of 70 mph near Malcolm Road. The driver ran into a yard, ran a stop sign at Nance Road and hit a tree. The driver and passenger jumped out of the vehicle and ran.

A few blocks away, the officer caught up to a female with two teenagers walking near the crash. The woman said she heard the crash and just arrived to see what happened. The two teens tried to hide behind the woman, said Police Capt. Melonie Thompson.

The teens identified themselves as brothers and gave police their ages. The officer recognized the 14-year-old as the driver he’d seen earlier. The vehicle was identified as the stolen car from the hotel.

Police separated them into two police cars and the 11-year-old told police he didn’t want to go to jail. He told police his brother took and drove the car. The boys’ mother was called, but said she was stuck in Charlotte.

A juvenile petition was issued on the 14-year-old for the following charges: felony fleeing to elude arrest, felony possession of a stolen vehicle, no operator’s license and misdemeanor resist, obstruct, delay an officer. A juvenile petition was issued on the 11-year-old for felony possession of a stolen vehicle.

Police released the teens into the custody of a family friend.

Thompson said in mid-June the same two teens and their 10-year-old brother were found in a neighborhood not far from Novant Health Rowan Medical Center pulling on car door handles. The juveniles were not charged in that incident, but the incident was listed in reports as suspicious activity in the neighborhood.

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