Teens arrested after late-night, high-speed chase in fire truck

Two teenagers were in custody Saturday after being accused of stealing a firetruck from a manufacturing plant southeast of Rock Hill.

The boys were being evaluated at a Columbia hospital. Deputies will bring the 15- and 16-year-olds back to York County to face criminal charges before they are released to their parents, officials said.

A neighbor called York County sheriff's deputies about 3:30 a.m. Saturday after hearing some loud noises at Seagrave Fire Apparatus on Lesslie Highway, Sgt. Phillip Jamison said. The company designs and builds fire and rescue equipment.

Jamison said the two male teens apparently scaled a fence around the property. It's unclear how they got the truck started, he said. But they used the truck and a chain to yank off a gate at the plant's entrance and drove away, he said.

Not long after the call from the neighbor, a deputy patrolling around Rock Hill High School saw a firetruck with its red lights swirling. But there was no fire.

"He was like, 'Huh? What's that firetruck doing over there?'" Jamison said.

The deputy tried to approach the truck, but it took off out of the school parking lot and gave chase at speeds up to 80 mph, Jamison said.

Deputies and Rock Hill police chased the truck for several miles. They eventually stopped it on Anderson Road, a four-lane highway, using metal strips that flattened its tires. The teens jumped and ran but were caught by officers, Jamison said.

Their names were not released because they are 16 or younger, he said.

Damage to the property and truck is estimated at about $8,000. The teens face motor vehicle theft and damage-to-property charges, Jamison said.