Crime

Florida teen crashed a stolen car into a home after cutting off ankle monitor, cops say

A Clearwater teenager is facing a grand theft auto charge, among others, after the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office said the 16-year-old stole a car and crashed into a home.

Deputies were called to a home in the 1300 block of Eastfield Drive in Clearwater after a Kia Soul crashed into the garage of a home around 11:35 p.m. Thursday. People were inside when the crash occurred, but none were injured, according to the sheriff’s office.

Witness told deputies they saw multiple teenagers run from the area, so K-9 units and a Flight unit started searching for them.

Near the home, officials found the 16-year-old, who deputies believe was the driver of the Soul. He was already on felony probation and the teen was being monitored with an ankle monitor as part of a habitual offender program, according to the sheriff’s office.

Prior to the crash, the teen cut off the ankle monitor and later stole a family member’s Kia Soul, but lost control and crashed it on Eastfield Drive, hitting a mailbox and a parked car before the house, investigators learned.

The 16-year-old was taken to a hospital for non-life threatening injuries, according to the sheriff’s office. Once he is released from the hospital, he will be taken to the Pinellas Juvenile Assessment Center. He was charged with grand theft auto, leaving the scene of a crash with injury and probation violation.

A 13-year-old believed to be a passenger in the vehicle was also located near the crash, according to the sheriff’s office. He was also taken to a hospital to be treated for non-life threatening injuries. He was not charged.

The investigation into the incident is ongoing.

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Pinellas County Sheriff's Office
Sara Nealeigh covers what’s happening in the cities of Bradenton and Palmetto, Florida for the Bradenton Herald. She previously covered breaking news for the Herald after moving to Florida from Ohio in 2016.
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