Runaway teens from Cadillac, MI, found in stolen Jeep in Bowling Green

The two told police they wanted to be together after their parents did not approve of their relationship
Published: May. 22, 2023 at 5:33 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - A ping on a license plate reader, and a stolen Jeep is suddenly on police radar.

“Sounds like the male stole that vehicle from his parents,” said Lt. Adam Skaff of Bowling Green Police. “If he would not have reported it, it would not have been entered into that national database, they never would have been located.”

The alert happened Thursday, May 18, 2023, at about 3:30 PM. Bowling Green Police say it came from a stationary camera on N. Main St. That alert notified them about a stolen Jeep Liberty and two runaway teenagers from Cadillac, Michigan.

“In their mind, they thought this was the only way to continue pursuing their relationship,” explained Lt. Skaff, who said the 15-year-old girl and 16-year-old boy were running away to be together. “They indicated that part of the reason that they had fled was because the parents of the female juvenile didn’t like their relationship.”

It’s a relationship that led them 250 miles from home, ultimately landing them behind bars.

Police found the Jeep in a parking lot of Bowling Green State University on the north side of campus. Inside, officers say they discovered $6,000 in cash, a box containing gold and silver coins and bars, and the two runaways under a blanket.

“The male asked the officer whether he should be concered about the fact that he did not have a full driver’s license, as he only had a temporary permit. The officer explained to him that the driving infraction was the least of his concern,” added Lt. Skaff.

Police put the two in handcuffs and took them to the Wood County Juvenile Detention Center. Both were charged with receiving stolen property. Investigators say those teens are no longer being held in Bowling Green, and that their parents may decide whether to press charges in Michigan.

However, during a search of the Jeep, officers found a prescription bottle with crystals inside. One of the teenagers said it was smelling salts. BG Police sent it out for testing. Depending on what comes back, police say, those teens could face drug charges in Ohio.

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