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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — A wild chase through West Miami-Dade County ended in a crash and with two teenagers in custody Tuesday morning.
CBS4’s Peter D’Oench has learned that one of the suspects told South Miami Police that he had stolen the car that he was in three days ago and had broken into five other vehicles the same night as well in South Miami.
The chase began when police got a call about a burglary at 63rd Avenue and S.W. 11th St., according to West Miami Police Chief Nelson Andreu.
Officers found the suspects and chased them through West Miami until the suspects crashed just off the Palmetto Expressway near SW 77th Avenue and SW 4th Street.
The whole chase lasted less than 10 minutes but involved multiple agencies.
Chopper 4 was over the scene around 9 a.m. where you could see a white vehicle had slammed into a portion of a wall.
Jordan Lopez saw the police pursuit.
“I saw a young guy in panic mode and I said let me get out of here because you know desperate times call for desperate measures so I just moved to the side,” said Lopez.
“My first reaction was how young he was. I didn’t know his age but he was very young,” said Lopez. “Right before the holiday, this is terrible for the people who did it and the victims of the crime.”
Officers have taken two teens, both 17-years-old, into custody in connection to the burglary and crash.
Police said the teens were seen earlier trying to leave a home with a screen.
Mathew Caceres said his father confronted them and called the authorities.
“He saw two guys who did not belong, to be honest, and he called them out,” said Caceres. “You see something you say something. It was pretty clear they were trying to break into the home. They removed the screen. It was clear they were trying to get inside the home.”
A West Miami Police detective was in an unmarked car nearby.
“The undercover detective drove by, spotted them trying to hide down in the car and when they spotted him they took off and the chase began,” said Chief Andreu.
Andreu said the suspects struck several police vehicles, lost control of the white Acura SUV, bailed out and were arrested after a foot chase.
“They were felons and we treated them as extremely dangerous,” said Andreu. “It’s very fortunate that no one was injured. We had fantastic cooperation from multiple agencies including Miami-Dade Police, FTP and School Board Police.”
South Miami Police Chief Rene Landa said, “We picked up one of the 17-year-old suspects and he took our officers to the home where he had broken into cars. He referred to it as car hopping where they go from car to car looking for unlocked vehicles. He admitted to breaking into five vehicles in our city and stealing the sixth car, all of it in one night last weekend.”
Landa said, “Often they look for unlocked cars and, in this case, the car he stole was not only unlocked but the keys were inside it as well. That is a huge concern. We want everyone to be aware of the need to keep their cars locked.”
He said he was very concerned about trying to curb this crime of opportunity during this holiday season.
The son of the Good Samaritan who called the cops is proud of what his father did.
“I’m proud. He raised me to be the same way – courageous in doing right,” said Caceres. “There’s always an easy way and there’s always a right way.”
Chief Andreu said, “That neighbor was alert and called police and that is what we ask if you see something suspicious. In this case, it was just a burglary but we hear this all the time especially in terrorism-related incidents. If you see something, just pick up the phone and call us.”
As for the young suspects, they now face serious charges ranging from assaulting police officers to fleeing and alluding to attempted burglary.