LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A teen girl and two teen boys detained in the theft of two LAPD police cruisers are linked to the agency’s cadet program, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck announced Thursday.
The cruisers, stolen from two different South Los Angeles stations, kicked off two chases Wednesday night that both ended in crashes.
Beck told reporters at a Thursday afternoon news conference a third stolen LAPD vehicle was found as part of the investigation, and the cadets may have impersonated police officers in order to sign out the vehicles.
Earlier in the evening, police realized that the two cruisers had been stolen, one from the Central Traffic Division and the other from the South Bureau, police said.
At about 9:35 p.m., a patrol officer spotted both vehicles together and two separate chases ensued.
One of the SUVs hopped a curb and crashed into a building in the area of 77th and San Pedro streets. A neighbor told CBS2 he saw two teens exit the cruiser and run.
The second SUV crashed into another car a few miles away, at South Central Avenue and East Adams Boulevard. The woman driving the car was taken to a hospital with minor injuries.
Three teens were eventually caught and detained. They were not identified.
Beck says he has ordered a top-to-bottom review of the department’s cadet program in response to the thefts.
Amid the two chases, another patrol car was involved in a third crash. No officers were hurt.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)