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Juveniles in custody over stolen vehicles

LEADWOOD — Two juveniles are in custody at the Juvenile Detention Center because police say they stole two vehicle in Leadwood. According to Leadwood Detective Jared Heath, the vehicles were stolen on Nov. 1 and Nov. 3. 

According to the probable cause statement, a 1997 Ford Escort was stolen from a Wood Street address on Nov. 1. The owner of the vehicle said he heard someone start the vehicle and drive away at 2:10 a.m. that morning. The owner said he had two chainsaws in the truck that were worth about $850 between the two of them. 

On Nov. 3, a 1996 Nissan pickup truck was stolen from a Bell Street address. The owner said the vehicle was taken between 11 p.m. on Nov. 2 and 7:30 a.m. on Nov. 3. The owner said there was  a chainsaw and a double black axe in the back of the truck.

Heath said on Nov. 7 the Ford Escort was located by a police officer near the Leadwood Church of God. The car was parked in the woods behind the church. The detective said he dusted the car for fingerprints and lifted two sets that are currently being processed by the Missouri State Highway Patrol. Heath said he found a chainsaw case and a gas can near the vehicle. The owner of the vehicle confirmed that the items belonged to him. 

Heath said on Nov. 9 he was told by an informant that two juveniles had confessed to stealing the truck and the car. The informant recorded a cell phone conversation with the juveniles. Heath said during the conversation the juveniles confessed to stealing two vehicles.

The two suspects were arrested and taken to the juvenile detention center on Nov. 10. Heath said he contacted the mother of one of the juveniles. 

“I asked her if she was aware of any chainsaws that the boys had brought home,” Heath said in the probable cause statement. 

The mother told Heath that one of the juveniles sold a chainsaw to his father for $25. The mother gave Heath the chainsaw. 

Heath said while interviewing one of the juveniles at the detention center the location of the truck was given. He said the truck was recovered by police off Cheriton Street behind the baseball field in Frankclay. The chainsaw and axe were still in the back of the truck. 

Heath said the juveniles have been charged and are being held at the detention center. He said the prosecutors are attempting to have the oldest of the two certified as an adult. 

Chris Cline is a reporter for the Daily Journal. Contact him at 573-431-2010, ext. 114 or at

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