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2 teens arrested in high-speed chase

| Saturday, April 28, 2012, 1:16 a.m.

Two teenagers in a stolen car led police on a high-speed, 18-mile chase early Thursday from Mt. Pleasant to Greensburg before authorities were able to box the car in and arrest them, Mt. Pleasant police said.

The incident began in Mt. Pleasant at 1:32 a.m. when borough officers spotted a 1996 Plymouth Neon traveling erratically on Main Street, borough Assistant Police Chief Dan Zilli said.

What followed, Zilli said, was a chase from the borough onto Route 119 north, then to the Amos K. Hutchinson bypass (Toll 66), where the 16-year-old male driver smashed through a tollbooth gate at about 100 mph and narrowly missed an employee.

The teen driver, from Acme, then got onto Route 30 east and struck a tractor-trailer and an embankment before moving into the westbound lane at North Greengate Road, in Hempfield, to continue driving east.

The car left Route 30 west by going the wrong way up a ramp to turn onto Humphrey Road in Hempfield.

Police finally struck the stolen car to cause it to spin out of control near Primanti's restaurant near Greensburg's border with Hempfield, Zilli said.

The chase involved a dozen police cruisers from several agencies.

"It was very dangerous," Zilli said. "At one point, I looked at my speedometer and I was going about 120."

The car was one of three vehicles the teens stole in Mt. Pleasant and West Newton within a 26-hour period, starting at 10 p.m. Tuesday, Zilli said.

The 16-year-old male driver was charged with burglary, aggravated assault on a police officer, theft of a vehicle, recklessly endangering another person, receiving stolen property, criminal mischief and criminal trespass.

His 15-year-old male passenger, from Smithton, was charged with receiving stolen property.

The driver, who did not have a license, caused damage estimated at $1,500 to the toll plaza, $500 for a state police cruiser and $500 for the stolen Neon, Zilli said.

Norvelt District Judge Roger Eckels arraigned the teens, who will be held at a juvenile detention center while awaiting a hearing on the charges.

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