3 Teens Arrested After Stolen Vehicle Pursuit Ends in Fiery Crash in Ventura

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Police arrested three 15-year-old boys after a group of juveniles riding in a stolen car crashed into another vehicle during a pursuit in Ventura Monday afternoon, officials said.

An officer first spotted the suspicious vehicle while patrolling near the intersection of Valentine Road and Sperry Avenue around 2:05 p.m. and realized it was stolen after running the plates, Ventura police said in a news release.

The officer summoned additional units before attempting to pull the car over, and police initiated a pursuit after the teen driving refused to stop.

The unlicensed juvenile was driving at speeds up to 50 mph, failing to heed traffic signals as the chase wound through the industrial area south of the 101 Freeway, authorities said.

Officers deployed a spike strip as the car was headed north on Knoll Drive, but the driver swerved around it and ran a stop sign, according to police.

The stolen car then crashed into another vehicle in the intersection of Knoll Drive and Valentine Road, causing the suspect vehicle to catch fire. Both cars sustained significant damage, officials said.

The two occupants in the victim vehicle were taken to the Ventura County Medical Center with minor injuries.

Police detained the 15-year-old driver and two other juveniles at the crash site, but another two passengers ran from the car and across the 101 Freeway. Officers were able to catch up with the pair inside a water culvert along the highway and took them into custody with the help of firefighters, police said.

The driver was arrested on suspicion of evading arrest in a vehicle and driving a stolen vehicle, while the two passengers who tried to flee were arrested on suspicion of resisting arrest.

The other two passengers were let go.

The intersection of Knoll Drive and Valentine Road was closed for about an hour and a half while authorities investigated but has since been reopened.

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