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East Lyme police: Juvenile charged with car theft after crashing into rock

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East Lyme — A 16-year-old from New Haven was charged early Sunday morning with car theft after allegedly fleeing from police and crashing into a rock.

The arrest comes as Republican state legislators have called on the General Assembly to convene a special session to address what they say is the worsening problem of juveniles stealing cars across the state. In southeastern Connecticut, police departments say such crimes have become rampant in most towns. 

Police said they responded to a call Sunday at 3:49 a.m. from a resident on Fairhaven Road who believed his car was being broken into.

The responding officer found two vehicles pulled to the side of the road on Black Point Road. The drivers sped off as the officer turned around to approach them.

The officer tried to stop the vehicles but lost sight of them. A short time later, the officer came upon one of the vehicles, reported stolen from Guilford, after it crossed onto Pennsylvania Avenue and the driver crashed into a rock at the intersection with Chapman Farm Road, police said. The driver had fled into the adjacent wooded area. A K-9 unit from the Norwich police department assisted in finding the juvenile, believed to be the driver of the crashed car.

The juvenile was charged with first-degree larceny and interfering with a police officer.

The second car, stolen from a Niantic resident, was found abandoned on a nearby dead-end street. Officers continue to search for the other individuals involved.

j.vazquez@theday.com

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