3 hurt when stolen vehicle rams police cruiser

Two brothers, 14 and 15, charged in car theft after early-morning crash

June 30, 1999|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,SUN STAFF

Officer Yolanda Lenora Jones stopped her cruiser at a Southwest Baltimore intersection early yesterday hoping to spot a stolen Jeep Grand Cherokee that had been seen speeding on residential streets.

But the alleged car thieves -- a 14-year-old driver and his 15-year-old brother -- found the officer instead.

Police said the green sport utility vehicle sped through a stop sign and broadsided the officer's parked patrol car.

The 3: 30 a.m. collision at South Pulaski and Ramsay streets sent the Cherokee sliding 20 feet on its roof and into a tree, and forced Jones' cruiser into a building. Jones, 27, suffered neck injuries and a deep cut on her head and was treated at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center.

The youths suffered neck injuries and were in stable condition yesterday at the same hospital. Police said the 14-year-old was on home detention because of a juvenile conviction for handgun possession.

Sgt. Scott Rowe, a police spokesman, said the teen-agers were charged as juveniles with car theft and traffic violations.

Rowe said the green Cherokee, reported stolen Monday from Catonsville, was not being chased by other officers. That car is second on a list of most frequently stolen vehicles in the Baltimore area, behind the Honda Accord.

Recently, however, police have reported an overall drop in car thefts.

Sgt. Bob Jagoe of the Regional Auto Theft Task Force, said more than 20,000 cars were reported stolen in Baltimore and Baltimore County in 1994. He said this year's numbers are projected under 10,000.

While yesterday's car theft was allegedly committed by juveniles, Jagoe said suspects are getting older. He said five years ago, most cars were stolen by youngsters. Of 160 arrests for car theft in April and May, he said only six were juveniles.

Pub Date: 6/30/99

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