Contributed photo — The 16-year-old car thieves crashed a 2007 Hyundai while trying to elude police.

South Whidbey teens charged in car-theft spree

Two South Whidbey teenagers’ vehicle-stealing-and-joyriding spree on March 21 and 22 ended with a short car chase and a crash on the Navy base, according to court records.

Prosecutors charged the 16-year-old boys in Island County Juvenile Court this month with second-degree burglary and two counts of taking a motor vehicle without permission in the second degree.

The case was complicated by the fact that the alleged crime occurred in three different jurisdictions. Multiple officers from the Island County Sheriff’s Office, the Oak Harbor Police Department and Navy security investigated different parts of the case.

The two-boy crime spree started in Coupeville after a truancy hearing at the court. The teenagers missed the last bus back south, so they started walking around Central Whidbey until they found an unlocked Dodge Dakota pickup with the keys in the ignition; they got into the truck and drove it to Oak Harbor, according to a police report.

They then stole a Volvo, and two more cars. The latter were on from a home on the Seaplane Base, and the boys were spotted by military police. One of the boys tried to elude to officers but crashed a 2007 Hyundai at an intersection and fled on foot, a security report states. The other boy abandoned the car he was driving, walked back to where they had parked the pickup truck and drove the vehicle to Clinton.

Police were able to find and return all of the vehicles to the owners, though the Hyundai sustained serious damage, court records indicate.

One of the boys is also facing a series of charges in Skagit County related to vehicle theft.

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