Blount County Sheriff James Lee Berrong said three female juveniles were arrested today and are in custody on multiple charges after fleeing from deputies in a stolen vehicle shortly after noon today.
The three juveniles, a 16-year-old and two 14-year-olds, were taken to the Blount County Juvenile Facility where they will be held for 72 hours pending a detention hearing in Blount County Juvenile Court.
All three girls are charged with theft of a motor vehicle by delinquent. The two 14-year-old girls are also charged with misdemeanor evading arrest. In addition, the 16-year-old is charged with felony evading arrest, possession of a stolen vehicle, two counts of felony reckless endangerment, possession of a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony, and aggravated assault. One 14-year-old is also charged with simple possession of marijuana. All charges are “delinquent by” charges because of their juvenile status.
Shortly after noon today, a deputy spotted a 2009 gold Chevrolet Equinox on Robert C. Jackson Drive that had just been BOLO’d (be on the lookout) as a suspect vehicle in a string of car burglaries at an apartment complex on Middlesettlements Road in Alcoa. A check of the vehicle’s registration came back as reported stolen out of Knox County on Thursday. The deputy initiated a traffic stop on Robert C. Jackson, but the driver continued onto U.S. Highway 321, Morganton Road, Foothills Mall Drive, and then back onto U.S. Highway 321 West. Deputies were able to get the vehicle stopped using a pursuit intervention technique just past the U.S. Highway 129 Bypass on U.S. Highway 321.
After stopping the vehicle, the three females fled on foot. The 16-year-old driver was apprehended by a deputy in the parking lot of Maryville Commons on Watkins Road as she was reaching into her waistband where deputies found a handgun. That handgun had been reported stolen out of a vehicle in Alcoa earlier in the day. Deputies and officers with Maryville Police Department caught the two 14-year-olds in the same vicinity within minutes.
The investigation is ongoing and additional charges are pending.