ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- A 15-year-old and a 13-year-old are in custody after police say they stole two cars and crashed one of them into an auto-parts business.
According to the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office, it started in the 4400 block of Golf Ridge Drive about 1:30 a.m. today.
Matthew Palmer was sitting on his back porch with a friend when he saw the door to his mom's car was open.
"I thought it was my mother so I pressed the lock to kind of mess with her a little bit and after that we noticed someone jumped out of the car," said Matthew Palmer, a witness.
The suspect got startled and ran off but investigators said it did not end there. As police were investigating the attempted car theft investigators noticed two other cars leaving the neighborhood that refused to stop. One of them nearly hit a police officer.
Palmer said one of the suspects drove into a dead-end street and took off on foot but the 15-year-old, who was driving a 2002 Chrysler P.T. Cruiser, led police on a chase down State Road 207. Police said the driver intentionally hit a police patrol car before crashing into Car Quest Auto Parts.
This is not the first time Action News has covered this kind of crime in St. Johns County.
In January a 12-year-old and a 14-year-old were charged with grand theft after stealing a car and then crashing into another vehicle. Two weeks later, the same teens tried to steal another car.
"It's been an issue for a number of years. We see spikes and declines as we go through different cycles. Juvenile crime is certainly an issue in St. Johns County," said Chuck Mulligan of the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office.
Palmer's mom, Anne, said she's glad her son scared away the suspect but has this message for the teens' parents.
"Why are their parents allowing them to go out? And if they're working third shift and they're this troublesome then maybe they should have a baby-sitter even at 15," said Anne Palmer.
The 15-year-old suspect is facing a long list of charges including two counts of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer and grand theft auto. The 13-year-old is facing charges for grand theft auto.