LOS BANOS, Calif. --A pair of Merced County teens may be facing kidnapping and other charges in adult court for a weekend crime spree. Police said they stole a 73-year-old woman's car and they took her with it.
Detectives said the crime spree started when one of the suspects stole a car from his parents. He grabbed a friend and drove that car right into the canal. They got out and their next target was about 20 yards away.
With one stolen car in a canal and a crime spree barely begun, two teens headed into the nearest neighborhood, knocking on doors. A couple rejections later, they found their next victim. "They said they wanted to use my phone and then they had a gun and a big pipe," said the victim.
The woman doesn't want to be identified, but she's a spunky 73-year-old. She tells Action News she did exactly what the 15 and 16-year-old suspects told her to do. She grabbed her car keys and started driving them towards Firebaugh. When they forced her to turn down a remote Fresno County road, her thoughts turned very grim. "Uh, I'm gonna be either killed or left out here."
After the teens drove away, detectives said they carried out a two-day crime spree, between Fresno County and Sacramento. Deputies caught them both by Tuesday, but it was how they treated their victim that bothered investigators the most. "The victim was 73-years-old and without any hesitation whatsoever, they left her out in the cold and the rain in the middle of nowhere," said Sgt. Chuck Hale, Merced County Sheriff's Detective.
But she wasn't alone. Her disabled dog Missy was with her and might've distracted the suspects from the purse she was still carrying. She called for help and finally got picked up near Dos Palos, just in time to reflect on what she'd really faced. "Actually, at the time, I wasn't scared. Afterwards, it hit me, but I was just thinking 'take care of business and keep moving.'"
She's back in business, but her car is not. It's considered evidence as the teens face serious felony charges.
Prosecutors are considering whether to charge them as adults.