Teens steal car after waking up owner sleeping in back, police say

MADISON, Wis. - Three Madison teens were arrested over the weekend when they tried to run from police after crashing a stolen car near the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus, according to a release.

The car was taken sometime early Sunday morning from the 400 block of West Main Street, police said.

The car’s owner, a 51-year-old Baraboo man, said he had fallen asleep inside and left it unlocked, according to the release. He woke up to the teens rummaging around inside the car.

The teens ran off when they realized the man was inside, but they took his keys and phone, officials said.

The victim was walking to get help when he saw his car zoom past with the teens inside, according to the release.

A Madison police officer saw the car and tried to stop it near North Park and West Dayton streets, officials said. The driver sped away and the officer did not pursue it.

Witnesses reported seeing the car crash into a retaining wall minutes later after the driver failed to execute a successful turn from Campus Drive onto Highland Avenue, according to the release.

The teens ran off with UW police, Shorewood Hills, Veterans Hospital and Madison officers chasing them on foot, officials said. Officers caught two of the teens, and a 41-year-old Illinois man, who was walking in the area, grabbed the third.

The 14-year-old, 15-year-old and 16-year-old were taken to the Juvenile Retention Center on tentative charges of operating a vehicle without the owner’s consent.

The Illinois man suffered minor scrapes, and aggravated a prior knee injury during the apprehension, officials said.

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