Atascadero teens charged with grand theft auto
– Three Atascadero teens led police on a vehicular chase through city streets in the early morning hours Monday following the report of a stolen pick-up truck.
The teens, 14, 15 and 16 years old — the 16-year-old was reportedly driving the vehicle — were arrested and charged with grand theft auto, felony evading a police officer, conspiracy to commit a crime, and willingly resisting a police officer. They were taken to the Atascadero Police Department then transported to juvenile hall where they were booked.
Police received a report of the stolen 2002 Ranger pick-up from the 6100 block of Via at 4:14 a.m. Monday.
The reporting party said she heard the vehicle drive away — her purse and keys were inside — and that the vehicle belonged to her son-in-law.
While information was gathered for the report, another officer located the vehicle with three people inside, according to Atascadero Police Commander Joe Allen. The vehicle was behind the vacant, former Spencer’s Market located at 8665 El Camino Real.
The pick-up failed to stop for police, instead fleeing through town at speeds up to about 70 miles per hour. The driver failed to stop at stop signs, crossed double yellow lines, nearly caused a collision with another vehicle, drove in oncoming lanes and finally collided with a small utility pole in the River Gardens section of Atascadero at Miramon and Buena avenues, according to police.
The suspects then fled police on foot, running under nearby railroad tracks. Police apprehended the 14-year-old on site and located the other two boys that same morning at a residence in the area. APD was assisted by the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department.
The suspects reportedly fled the vehicle with the reporting party’s purse. Police walked the area Monday morning and located the purse with cash and other contents inside, police said.