Juveniles lead cops on chase

October 09, 1997


Staff Writer, Martinsburg

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - West Virginia State Police said they know the identity of two juveniles who led them on a chase in a stolen vehicle Wednesday evening.

The stolen pickup truck and two stolen handguns were recovered, but the two juveniles were still being sought late Wednesday night. A report that a shot was fired by one of the juveniles during the pursuit had not been confirmed.

"One of the units that was close thought he heard something" like a gunshot, said Sgt. J.D. Humphrey, who was involved in the chase.


The incident was called in at 6:04 p.m. when Senior Trooper Jason Laing reported that he was in pursuit of the stolen pickup occupied by two white males. He followed the truck onto Scrabble Road, where it turned into a cornfield.

The report said the two youths jumped out of the truck while it was still moving and took off on foot. Also involved in the chase, the report said, were Senior Trooper Jeff Phillips and Trooper Mike Durst.

The Berkeley County Sheriff's Office said it sent two deputies to assist state police with the search.

Sgt. Rob Blair, who was called to the scene from his home, reported that police called in the Maryland State Police Trooper Three helicopter to assist in the search. It arrived about 30 minutes after being called, but a search of the field failed to turn up the suspects.

No officers were injured in the chase, which the report said was captured on a video camera in one of the cruisers. The report did not indicate from where the pickup truck or the handguns had been stolen.

Humphrey said that he believed the pickup truck and handguns had been stolen from the same owner in the Berkeley Station area, but he had no other details.

Blair's report said the state police will be filing charges against the youths with the Berkeley County Prosecutor's Office. The owner of the cornfield was also contacted about damage the truck caused to crops.

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