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8 teens apprehended after taking stolen car for joy ride

NATCHEZ — Natchez police apprehended eight juveniles Monday afternoon who they believe were joy riding in a car that had been stolen from Mississippi Auto Direct on Sunday evening.

Natchez Police Chief Walter Armstrong said an officer saw a car filled with teenagers between the ages of 13 and 17 years old driving in the wrong direction on Main Street and tried to initiate a traffic stop at approximately 3 p.m. Monday.

The officer stopped the car on Homochitto Street near the Malt Shop and the teens ran away from the vehicle on foot, Armstrong said.

Neighbors in the area reported seeing the teens running the through yards with police chasing them in the vicinity of South Rankin, Washington and South Union streets.

A team of officers apprehended and questioned eight teens and they were later released to the custody of their parents while the driver remains at large, Armstrong said.

“The person we are looking for will be charged with automobile theft, which is a felony,” Armstrong said.

The car belonged to a customer who left the car at Mississippi Auto Direct for repairs, Armstrong said.

Armstrong advised that parents and adults should be mindful of children and remain aware of where they are and what they are up to at all times.

“Kids are better served if their parents and loved ones stay involved,” Armstrong said. “… These children were out, unattended and found themselves in trouble with the law. … Perhaps to them this is fun and games but to take something that doesn’t belong to you is a serious crime.”

Armstrong said he commends his officers for responding quickly to the incident, apprehending eight of the teens involved and identifying a ninth teen whose names will not be released.