5 teens face dozens of charges after CMPD pursuit along I-485

CHARLOTTE — Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department officers took five teenagers into custody Thursday afternoon after a pursuit on Interstate 485.

Detectives said they were looking for one of the suspects, who was driving a stolen white Dodge Charger, because they believed he was involved in an unrelated shooting.

Just before 2 p.m., they found the car and tried to pull it over but the driver refused to stop, leading officers and CMPD’s helicopter on a pursuit.

Chopper 9 Skyzoom was over I-485 Inner while officers followed the car, which pulled off on the shoulder before University City Boulevard. The occupants got out and took off into the woods. They made it to a neighborhood on the other side near Back Creek Church Road.

Officers were seen chasing the teens down through yards and on the neighborhood streets.

On Friday, CMPD said they arrested five teenagers in the car who are 14 to 16 years old. Police said they are serial offenders and had racked up at least 84 charges between them before Thursday’s arrest. Several of the teens were linked to multiple vehicle break-ins, police said.

Three of the five suspects were served secure custody orders. Police seized the Charger and two stolen guns.

Channel 9′s Jonathan Lowe spoke with the owner of the Challenger after the announcement of the five arrests.

“I knew exactly where I parked it and there was a different car in the parking spot at the time,” said the owner, who didn’t want to be identified.

He was visiting friends on Christmas Day when it was stolen.

One of the windows was cut out of the car.

“Looks like it was cut from both ends, not broken or shattered or anything,” he said. “When the cops located the window, we were all kind of taken aback because no one has seen that particular method of breaking into a vehicle before.”

He added, “They drove the car pretty hard and put it off the side of the road at potentially high speeds, so I just don’t know the extent of the damages at this point.”

Images from the scene

“Great work by all of our officers and detectives involved in taking repeat offenders off the streets and solving multiple cases in the process!” CMPD said.

A neighbor told Channel 9 that they saw more than 20 police cars flock to the neighborhood.

“They had a search dog in our backyard as well. We were kind of looking around to make sure nothing was out here,” neighbor Ty Francis said.

Francis said police told him there wasn’t anything to worry about.

“My biggest concern was that our kids were OK because there were still helicopters flying around,” Francis explained. “They said everything is OK. I said, ‘But there are still helicopters, so is everything alright?’ And then they did tell us they were still looking for one person, but that they were in another area, so that gave me a little bit of peace.”

Police took out 29 combined charges against the teens. Those include careless/reckless driving, driving without an operator’s license, felony flee to elude, possession of stolen motor vehicle, possession of stolen firearm, possession of firearm by a minor and breaking and entering a motor vehicle.

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Jonathan Lowe

Jonathan Lowe, wsoctv.com

Jonathan is a reporter for WSOC-TV.