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The Scoop

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State police: Teen fugitive runs out of gas on I-69

Statement as issued Thursday by the Fort Wayne post of the Indiana State Police:

Huntington County, IN – Running out of gas on I-69 proved to be the end of the line for a 15 year old Michigan boy late this morning who had reportedly run away from a detention facility in that state within the last week and was said to have been in possession of stolen property, including the car that ran out of gas.

According to Master Trooper Donald Stoffel, at approximately 10:45 am this morning, he responded to a dispatch of a broken down vehicle on southbound I-69 in the area of the 81 mile marker in Huntington County. There was also reportedly a person attempting to flag down traffic next to the broken down vehicle. When Stoffel arrived, he found the vehicle, a 2002 Pontiac Grand Prix, without a license plate and without anyone in or around it. He drove down I-69 to the Indiana State Police Weigh Station at the 78 mile marker and found a white male who was later identified as a 15 year old from Cadillac, Michigan.

The youth told Stoffel that he ran out of gas and was looking for help. Because the vehicle had no plate, and that it was parked on the interstate, he contacted a local towing service to have it impounded. While looking for the registration in the glove box, so as to complete the necessary paperwork, Stoffel found a loaded .38 caliber handgun and Vicodin pills. The youth was taken into custody and was later found in possession of a stolen laptop computer, a router and cell phone.

Through his investigation, and in speaking with officials from the Lansing (MI) Police Department, Stoffel learned that the 15 year old, who stood 5’10’ tall and weighed 210 pounds, had recently run away from a detention facility in Oxford, Michigan. He eventually made his way to Lansing, Michigan where he allegedly broke into a house and stole the computer, router, cell phone and handgun. He then allegedly stole the vehicle from a car lot in Dimondale, Michigan, which is southwest of Lansing.

Stoffel transported the youth to a waiting area in the administrative area of the Huntington County Jail to await transportation to a youth detention facility in a nearby county. Shortly after arriving, the youth managed to flee out of a side door and jump into a nearby river where he was captured by employees of a nearby restaurant who heard and saw officers giving chase. The youth will be housed in a secure detention facility until Friday morning where a hearing will be held in Huntington County Circuit Court to determine extradition back to Michigan.

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