UPDATE: Teen in alleged stolen car arrest linked to string of car burglaries

By Blake Schnitker on September 25 at 12:40pm

New information has surfaced regarding the arrest of several juveniles yesterday evening for their alleged involvement in the theft of a car out of Springfield.

Three juveniles, a 15-year old female from Jacksonville and two 16-year old males from Springfield were arrested at around 4 p.m. yesterday in the 300 block of East Lafayette. According to police, an officer with the Jacksonville Police Department conducted a traffic stop in the area on a car filled with five occupants and reported stolen out of Springfield.

As the officer approached, three of the occupants fled on foot while the two others remained inside the vehicle. After a short foot pursuit, one of the three suspects was apprehended while the other two got away.

In total, three of the five subjects were detained. Among the two suspects that remained in the vehicle was one of the aforementioned 16-year males from Springfield. According to reports, the juvenile was arrested for burglary to a motor vehicle, criminal trespass to a vehicle, curfew, felony theft, and possession of a stolen vehicle as part of an ongoing investigation unrelated to yesterday’s incident.

As it turns out, Jacksonville Police Lieutenant Doug Thompson says the department has been able to connect the juvenile to the series of car burglaries that have plagued Jacksonville over the past several months.

“Over the last few months we’ve had several motor vehicles that have been burglarized or stolen, and during the course of our investigation, we have been able to link that juvenile male to several other (burglaries), which is what prompted those charges,” says Thompson.

This male juvenile believed to be linked to recent car burglaries was one of the two occupants that remained in the vehicle during the traffic stop.

In regards to the male juvenile who attempted to flee and allegedly found to be in possession of a firearm, he was charged with aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and resisting/obstructing a peace officer.        Despite the arrests, two of the three subjects who fled remain on the loose. Thompson explains how the traffic stop was initiated, and says the department is still trying to identify and apprehend the two subject that got away.

“One of the officers working the street did just a random license plate check on the motor vehicle and it came back as stolen out of Springfield. Nothing new has come out, we are still in the process of attempting to identify the other two subjects (who fled and got away) so that we can attempt to arrest them as well,” Thompson explains.

Whether or not the suspects that remain at large are also connected to the recent car burglaries and break-ins is still unclear at this time.

Also, approximately 50 minutes after the traffic stop in the 300 block of East Lafayette at 4:08 p.m., Jacksonville Police received a call from the 400 block of East College Avenue in which the caller stated that they had observed an unknown black male enter their vehicle and drive away. The distance between where the subjects were initially pulled over and the address from which the vehicle was stolen is approximately five blocks according to police. And given the time frame between when the subjects fled, 4:08 p.m., and the time the call came in about the stolen vehicle, 4:56 p.m., Lieutenant Thompson says police have reason to believe that the car was stolen by one of the fleeing subjects. However, Thompson added that there is no evidence at this time to prove that theory correct.

Meanwhile, the case remains under investigation by the department’s Investigative Division.