Three Essex County teens were taken into custody early Thursday morning after trying to flee from police in two stolen vehicles -- crashing one and abandoning another, authorities said.
Denville police were responding to West Shore Road on a report of a stolen car around 1:40 a.m., when they saw it driving down Route 46, Denville Police Capt. Jeffrey Tucker said.
The vehicle sped up when officers tried stopping it -- just before a second vehicle attempted to interfere, police said.
The two teens in the first car -- stolen out of Denville -- crashed it on Denville Avenue and took off on foot, Tucker said.
The second car, stolen out of Montclair, was later found abandoned and unoccupied on South Wynde Drive near Indian Road, according to police.
A 17-year-old teen from Essex County was located and taken into custody after a brief pursuit, Tucker said. The other 17-year-old, also from Essex County, along with 19-year-old Alakir Wardlaw of Newark, were located shortly after and also taken into custody.
A handgun was recovered from the first vehicle that had crashed, police said.
The juveniles -- from Orange and Newark -- were charged with unlawful taking of a means of conveyance and conspiracy to commit theft.
Wardlaw was being held in the Morris County Jail on charges of theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property, eluding, resisting arrest, possession of a firearm, possession of hollow bullets, conspiracy to commit theft, and using a juvenile to commit auto theft (two counts).
The incident remains under investigation. Anyone with further information is encouraged to contact the Denville Police Department at 973-627-4900.
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