Cops: Teen in habitual offender program crashes stolen car into Clearwater home

Pinellas County

A 16-year-old boy is in a heap of trouble with the law after deputies say he crashed a stolen car into a Clearwater home, then ran away.

Around 11:35 p.m. on Thursday, Deputies responded to a 911 call about a car that crashed into a home at 1354 Eastfield Drive.

Witnesses told deputies that multiple juveniles ran away from the scene after a 2015 Kia Soul crashed into the garage area of the occupied home. No one in the home was injured.

Deputies from the PCSO K-9 Unit and the PCSO Flight Unit responded to the scene and began tracking the subjects.

Deputies say they found the 16-year-old driver of the vehicle near the home. A 13-year-old passenger was also found near the crash site. 

Deputies say the 16-year-old had stolen a family member’s Kia Soul and was driving it on Eastfield Drive when he lost control of the vehicle. The vehicle left the roadway and crashed into a mailbox and a parked car before crashing into the home causing significant property damage.

Mark and Dawn Smith live in the home and were awakened by the crash. “Went to bed and heard some loud noises, woke us up and again and I come running outside to a car that had run right through my garage,” said Mark Smith.

The teens in the car ran away from the crash scene, but then came back because they forgot something important in the car. “Then they all actually came back to get their phones and their backpacks,” said Smith.

Deputies say the 16-year-old was already on felony probation and was being monitored by the Pinellas County Habitual Offender Monitoring Enforcement program, a task force aimed at reducing teen crime. Deputies say the teen cut-off his GPS ankle monitor hours prior to the incident.

The 16-year-old and his passenger were both transported to a local hospital for non-life threatening injuries.

The 16-year-old will be transported to the Pinellas Juvenile Assessment Center following his release from the hospital.

Deputies charged the 16-year-old with one count of Grand Theft Auto, one count of Leaving the Scene of a Crash with Injury, three counts of Leaving the Scene of a Crash with Property Damage, and one count of Violation of Probation.

The passenger was not charged.​

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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