DAYTONA, Fla. – Four teenagers are accused of stealing from a JCPenney store, fleeing in a stolen vehicle and then leading authorities on a chase before crashing, according to the Daytona Beach Police Department.
A security guard called 911 around 4 a.m. Thursday to report that four masked teens had broken into JCPenney in the Volusia Mall then sped away from the area in a stolen vehicle, an incident report said.
"Volusia Mall security guards saw four individuals coming out in a waiting car carrying items. They had their faces covered, they entered the vehicle and took off," said Sgt. Kelsey Harris, Daytona Beach Police Department.
The Volusia County Sheriff's Office helicopter unit kept an eye on the vehicle as it sped through the area before crashing on Orange Camp Road near DeLand while swerving to avoid Stop Sticks, according to a news release.
Air One gave officers a play by play on their every move, and got help from a DeLand Deputy's K-9. It didn't take long for police to capture the teens who range from 15 to 17 years old.
"Inside the vehicle were several cash registers and several clothing items from the store," said Harris..
Three of the teens were arrested by Volusia deputies and Daytona Beach police officers. The fourth was apprehended by a DeLand police K-9 unit, police said.
Police examined the vehicle, which had been reported stolen out of Orlando on Monday, and found five cash registers and 11 pairs of Nike shoes stolen from the JCPenney, according to the report. Four other cash registers from the store were also in the area.
Officials estimated that between the cash registers and shoes about $7,1855 worth of property was stolen from the department store. Damage to the JCPenney storefront from the teens breaking the glass amounted to $750.
One of the teens told detectives that he and the other boys are members of the Silverstar neighborhood gang in Orlando. He admitted to taking part in the burglary so he could get money to help his mother buy a car, police said.
"Their MO is to go throughout other jurisdictions including their own and commit crimes. Whether it's burglaries, car breaks, other crimes of opportunity," said Sgt. Harris.