Teens Arrested After 640 Mile Joyride

Thursday, March 22nd 2007, 1:23 pm
By: News On 6

A 640 mile joyride in a high-end stolen SUV ends with some serious consequences for two Wagoner teens. Police say a 15-year-old stole his uncle's SUV, cash, a gun and the family dog, then went on the run with a friend. The News On 6's Heather Lewin reports it may have been a desperate move to get out of going to military school.

Jeff Estep says he went to work, just like every morning, then got a strange call from the neighbors. He rushed home and confirmed something was missing, his 2007 Hummer H2. And that wasn't all.

"Turned around, went in the house my 15-year-old nephew Kyle was not there,started looking around, our pet dog the German Shepherd was gone, $500 to $1000 dollars of my emergency money was missing," Estep said.

But Estep was pretty certain of the culprit's identity, the nephew he's raised as his own, who'd gotten so out of control he planned to send the boy to Thunderbird Youth Academy in Pryor on Monday. It was obvious to Estep the teen had made an ill-advised escape.

"I kinda liked my Hummer, that was my baby," Estep said.

Police recovered the Hummer from the bottom of a pond in Indiana after they say the two teens led Indianapolis police on a high speed chase, the wrong direction down a major interstate.

"I felt like somebody just kicked me in the stomach," said Estep. "The boy doesn't even have a clue to how lucky he really is. Going the wrong way on I-70 in a police chase at a high rate of speed, could've resulted in his death, the death of other innocent people."

Both teens were arrested at the scene. And as you could imagine Estep is angry, but he says he's just glad his nephew is okay.

"Hopefully, he'll be in a controlled environment where I don't have to worry about him, and maybe he'll learn something during the consequences of his actions because I'm a firm believer in that and will get something out of this that will help him as a young adult," he said.

Now, instead of military school, he's likely going to jail. The boys were arrested on several felony charges including auto theft, resisting arrest, carrying a gun without a permit and driving without a license.