15-year-old arrested after fleeing from police in a stolen vehicle

PERU – Monday, a vehicle pursuit led to the arrests of Tavonta Lawrence, 19, a 15-year-old boy, and a 16-year-old girl, all from South Bend, IN. The 16-year-old and the 15-year-old were incarcerated in the South Bend Juvenile Detention Center. The 15-year-old boy faces charges for auto theft, resisting law enforcement with a vehicle, possession of stolen property, reckless driving, aggressive driving, and operating a vehicle without ever having received a driver’s license. The 16-year-old girl faces a charge for resisting law enforcement. Lawrence was incarcerated in the Miami County Jail on a criminal charge of resisting law enforcement. 

Yesterday at approximately 6:00 p.m., an off-duty Indiana State Police trooper reported a Jeep Cherokee allegedly traveling on northbound U.S. 31, near Miami County Road 1400 South, at approximately 115 miles per hour in a posted 60 miles per hour zone. Trooper Kyle Miller located the Jeep near Miami County Road 500 South and initiated a traffic stop. The driver of the Jeep, later identified as a 15-year-old boy, allegedly failed to stop and led Miller on a vehicle pursuit. The vehicle chase ended when the Jeep crashed into a ditch on U.S. 31 near Eel River Road.

Immediately after the crash, Lawrence and the 16-year-old girl emerged from the Jeep and fled on foot. The 16-year-old girl was captured immediately. Lawrence was taken into custody after Trooper Andrew Baldwin utilized his police dog, Mack, to track Lawrence’s location in a nearby wood line. 

There were no injuries in the crash.

During the investigation, it was revealed that the Jeep Cherokee had been reported stolen from Mishawaka, IN. 

Miller was assisted by Trooper Andrew Baldwin, Trooper Dakota Anderson, Trooper David Kewish, ISP Sergeant Adam Moor, ISP Sergeant Chad James, and the Miami County Sheriff’s Office.