Police: Delinquents steal car, lead police on a chase and roll car over in Harrison

July 31, 2018

A red Volkswagen Jetta was stolen Friday.

Police say three delinquents from Summit Academy stole an employee’s car Friday afternoon and led police on a chase that ended when the driver rolled the car over near Route 28 in Harrison.

As dusk approached, all three youths had been caught. Officials would not say whether the youths are considered to be dangerous, nor would they say why they had been sent to the private, residential facility for delinquent youths.

The incident started at the Summit Township, Butler County, facility just before 1 p.m.

Butler state police alerted surrounding departments to look for the stolen red Volkswagen Jetta, which headed south on Route 356 into the Alle-Kiski Valley.

The car was spotted by a Buffalo Township patrolman and a chase began, which continued onto Route 28, state police Capt. Steve Ignatz said.

The driver attempted to get off the expressway at the Natrona Heights exit (Exit 15) to turn on to Burtner Road but rolled the car over.

The trio, all wearing the school-issued shirts or hooded sweatshirt and khaki pants, fled.

State police, Harrison, and Fawn police searched in the Pine Hill area along the Fawn-Harrison border and off of Ridge Road in Fawn.

Police used Fawn elementary school as a staging point.

“We saw police cars speeding up Ridge Road and the helicopter circling,” said Terri Miller, of Frazer, an employee of Macura’s Automotive Repair at the intersection of Burtner and Ridge roads. Mechanic Paul Radowicz, of Lower Burrell, wondered what prompted the police presence.

Several local police departments with police dogs joined the search.

The first youth was taken into custody at about 4:30 p.m.

The search was suspended for a time but resumed in the Ridge Road area of Fawn.

Police got tips from residents who saw the two passing along the road or through the area’s wooded properties. A police dog followed the two for a time through Little Bull Creek along Route 28.

At about 8 p.m., neighbors spotted the pair along Kipp Lane.

They were apprehended about 20 minutes later.

One of the two was wearing an orange Summit Academy shirt and shorts.

Neither was wearing shoes, one of the police searchers said. A pair of khaki pants was found along a power line.

Details of the arrests were not immediately unknown and it was unclear where the youths were taken after their arrests.

State police didn’t return calls for specifics Friday night.

The reform school is noted for its drug and alcohol treatment program and success in getting most youths turned toward success, Summit Academy spokesman Dick Roberts told the Tribune-Review.

“Only a handful of students escape each year,” Roberts said.

He said juvenile law prevents the school from publicly releasing their backgrounds or saying why the youth were found to be delinquent.

“We do not believe there were any other individuals involved in the incident, and there were no injuries to students or staff,” Roberts said.

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