Lake County sheriff's Dax finds nine juveniles connected to stolen vehicles in 24 hours
Dax, a Lake County sheriff's police dog, had a busy 24 hours starting early Thursday, sniffing out nine juveniles after reports of two stolen vehicles.
At 1 a.m., a sheriff's deputy found a crashed vehicle near Wadsworth and Delany roads in Wadsworth, according to Deputy Chief Chris Covelli.
The vehicle had been reported stolen from a neighboring community, and three suspects reportedly were involved, he said.
Deputy John Forlenza and Dax were called to the scene and began tracking the suspects.
After Forlenza and Dax tracked for a little more than a mile, three juveniles were found and ran when they heard the dog, Covelli said.
The juveniles ran onto a road where another deputy was waiting. They were caught and turned over to authorities from the community where the vehicle was reported stolen, Covelli said.
About midnight Thursday, state troopers stopped a vehicle reported stolen from Zion on Interstate 94 near unincorporated Deerfield.
The vehicle fled at a high speed, exited at westbound Lake-Cook Road and crashed on the exit to Milwaukee Avenue, according to trooper Jason Wilson, public information officer.
Dax and Forlenza were called to assist. Dax led authorities to a heavily wooded area where three juveniles were hiding and were taken into custody, Covelli said.
Dax continued tracking along the Des Plaines River shoreline and found three more juveniles. They also were taken into custody.
One of the juveniles was taken to a hospital with injuries sustained in the crash that were not life-threatening, Wilson said.
The six juveniles were turned over to Zion police custody, he added.
Ages and other information concerning the nine juveniles were not immediately available.
Sheriff John Idleburg said canine teams "are a significant necessity in keeping our community safe." There are five canine teams and two additional teams in basic training.