A band of runaways in a stolen van were found and arrested around 5 a.m. Tuesday at North Platte's Wal-Mart. Officers from the North Platte police department answered a call about juveniles/teenagers in a suspicious vehicle. When they arrived, they stopped two teens coming out of the store. One of them, a girl, had run away from a holding facility in Sioux City, Iowa, Police Information Officer Rodney Brown said.
Officers also questioned three other juveniles in the van, plus Cody R. Stone, 19, the oldest of the group. Police found two more teens who were reported as runaways -- including another girl from the same holding facility as the first girl.
The teens were all from Sioux City. They ranged in age from 13-19, including two girls, 13 and 14 years old.
They were driving a stolen Dodge Caravan that ran into the house of its owner before the teens took off. The driver shifted into drive instead of reverse and hit the house, Brown said.
Stone, the oldest, was arrested for possession of stolen property over $1,500, a felony. He was also charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
The other five teens were cited for possession of stolen property, and the younger ones were taken to a juvenile holding facility in Gering.
In court Friday, a 16 year old boy was released to the custory of his mother, who came from Sioux city to get him. Charges were continued against a 17-year-old after an out-of-courtroom conference between judge and attorneys.
Brown said the 18-year-old who drove the van when it was stolen left the group before they reached North Platte.