FORT WRIGHT, Ky. - Two juveniles accused of stealing an SUV with a child inside it are scheduled to face a Campbell County judge Wednesday.
The judge will decide whether the teens will be charged as juveniles or adults.
Kelly Garrett said she stopped for nachos and cheese at a Speedway in Fort Wright on July 18 when the teens allegedly stole her SUV with her daughter, Briyah, inside of it.
According to Fort Wright police Sgt. Michael Knight, the teens later told police that they drove about 15 minutes before they noticed the child in the back seat, and they panicked and quickly ditched the car.
Police and K-9 units swarmed the area and a Hamilton County Sheriff's helicopter joined the search for the suspects.
Covington Officer Mark Richards observed a Rumpke truck driver talking to two juveniles that matched the suspects’ description.
Police said the juveniles had borrowed the Rumpke driver’s phone. One juvenile called his father; the other called his mother. Then the Rumpke driver called 911.
At that time, Richards approached and the juveniles ran. Richards caught them and took them into custody.
“They've acknowledged to us that they, in fact, saw the helicopters, heard the K-9, saw the officers and just unfortunately for us ... dodged our efforts to apprehend them,” Knight said.
If the teens are charged as adults, they could face up to 20 years in prison.
“Both individuals are close to being 18 years of age, so the decision ultimately will be up to our commonwealth attorney to determine if they are elevated to an adult status,” Knight said. “The kidnapping offense itself is a Class B crime in the state of Kentucky. If you're an adult, typical punishment is 15 to 20 years.”
The teens are scheduled to appear in court at 9 a.m.