Saturday evening, December 30th three teens — a 16-year-old and two 17-year-olds — escaped from the Youth Rehabilitation Training Center (YRTC) in Kearney. A spokesperson with YRTC, said they didn’t know exactly when the three Juveniles slipped out of the facility or the direction they headed.
According to the Kearney Hub, Jon Wilke of Kearney believes the teens ran south to U.S. Highway 30 then to an area south of the University of Nebraska at Kearney (UNK), where they allegedly took Wilke’s 2010 Ford Focus from his stepson. The 23-year-old man had stopped at a home south of UNK, parked in the alley and went into his father’s garage to retrieve a heater. When Wilke’s stepson returned to the alley, in no more than two minutes, the car was gone.
Later a friend of Wilke’s pieced together comments a Broken Bow woman made on Facebook about having her car stolen. The Broken Bow woman saw both stolen cars together in Broken Bow.
Broken Bow Police Department officers were called to an attempted stolen vehicle at approximately 10:15 p.m. near A to Z Lawn Service on South C Street. Broken Bow Police Capt. Dan Hanson said the theft was stopped by the owner of the vehicle and the individual who first reported the incident. Hanson told KCNI/KBBN News they were able to box the vehicle in but the driver exited the vehicle and ran. Hanson said it is believed the youth was picked up by the driver of another vehicle stolen in Broken Bow.
Moments later Broken Bow Police received a report of another stolen car that had been left running in Broken Bow. The car was last seen driving east on Highway 2 out of Broken Bow. A short time later two stolen vehicles were involved in a pursuit by law officials in Sherman County near Hazard, where one of the stolen cars rolled and was badly damaged. The other vehicle and driver escaped the scene. The two teens that were in the rollover were transferred for treatment and then apprehended Sunday and returned to YRTC. At last report, officials had not apprehended the third teen.