Two Canadian teenagers were arrested last week after they stole three cars and rammed their way through a border crossing into Maine. Despite fired shots, police vehicle collisions, and a nail strip, police on both sides of the border were unable to apprehend the teens until they crashed into a guardrail.
The Canadian Bonnie and Clyde — Zachary Wittke, a 16-year-old boy, and an unnamed 13-year-old girl — started their international crime spree by stealing a vehicle in Ontario and heading towards the border. They later abandoned that car, and then stole another, which they used to ram through a border crossing near Coburn Gore, Maine.
According to Maine State Police, although border police fired shots and collided with the stolen car, the kids were able to escape down Route 27 at speeds of around 100 mph. Only police fired shots and no one was hit.
“They created a lot of chaos for a while,” Franklin Country Sheriff Scott Nichols told the Press Herald. “We locked the town down, set up roadblocks north, south, east and west of town to make sure that if these two characters stole another vehicle they couldn’t get by us, but they got by south of us, prior to our roadblock.”
At some point, the teenagers abandoned their car and stole a pickup truck, which police tried to stop with a nail strip. Although at least one tire was punctured, the teens continued to drive at about 30 to 40 mph, according to police.
When the teens kept driving, a police officer hit their truck at a "low speed," finally bringing the vehicle to a stop. The kids tried to escape into a river, but were captured scrambling down a 12-foot steep embankment.
"For the amount of chaos these two created for three hours, to see that they were just kids like this is something I've never encountered in 30 years of law enforcement," Nichols told CBC News.
The teenagers told police that they were trying to drive to New Brunswick, Canada when a combination of the chase and their GPS directed them over the border into the US.
The 13-year-old remains hospitalized with injuries from falling down the embankment and Wittke is still in jail on three felony charges. The 13-year-old will probably not be charged, although a Franklin County ADA told reporters there was no indication she was being held against her will.
Wittke is on probation and wanted in Ontario on arrest warrants. His mother told the Morning Sentinel that he suffers from an unspecified mental illness.
[image via Shutterstock]