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Moreno Valley 17-Year-Old Allegedly Stole Van From Hotel, Crashed It During High-Speed Pursuit: Sheriff’s Officials

A 17-year-old boy is facing charges after he stole a van from a hotel in Needles and led deputies on a chase before overturning the vehicle in Needles, officials said Saturday.

The 1100 block of Third Street in Needles, where a van was stolen from a Rodeway Inn, is seen in a Google Maps Street View image from June 2016.

The 1100 block of Third Street in Needles, where a van was stolen from a Rodeway Inn, is seen in a Google Maps Street View image from June 2016.

The incident began Thursday around 4:15 a.m., when an employee of the Rodeway Inn & Suites in Needles called 911 to report a van that was left running in front of the lobby had been stolen, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said in a news release.

The employee had only gone inside to grab a guest’s luggage, but by the time he returned he saw someone get in the van and speed away, investigators said.

Deputies were able to locate the van near the hotel, located at 1195 Third St., but the driver refused to pull over.

The vehicle led deputies on a chase throughout Needles before getting onto the eastbound 40 Freeway and driving at speeds exceeding 100 mph, officials said.

The reckless driving nearly caused the van to collide with at least one other motorist, according to sheriff’s officials.

About 11 miles from the hotel, at the Park Moabi Road off-ramp, the van drove into the center median and crashed into a steep embankment. It was propelled over a hill and landed on its roof, deputies said.

The 17-year-old boy, from Moreno Valley, was the van’s only occupant, officials said. His name is not being released due to his age.

He was taken to a nearby hospital for medical treatment, but authorities did not provide details on the nature or extent of his injuries.

He was released to his parents at the University Medical Center of Southern Nevada in Las Vegas, but sheriff’s officials said he will appear in juvenile court to face charges of vehicle theft and evading a police officer.

No further details were available.