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Boy steals trucks, rams squad cars
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MONTICELLO - A 15-year-old Verona boy faces at least ten charges after police say he stole two trucks from a business in Monroe, smashed one through a chain-link fence and rammed the other into two squad cars in Monticello, not stopping even when an officer fired shots at his vehicle.

The hunt for the boy started in the early morning hours of Tuesday, Sept. 10, shortly after midnight. A Monroe officer on patrol noticed a damaged 2013 GMC truck abandoned behind a mini-mall in the 300 block of 6th Avenue West, across from Walmart.

Another Monroe officer reported seeing a similar fleet-type truck ten minutes earlier about a mile away. The officers concluded the heavy-duty vehicles had been stolen from Monroe Truck Equipment, 1051 W. 7th St., and radioed a description of the missing truck to all law enforcement in Green County.

From the initial investigation, it appears the boy tried to steal the first truck by driving it through the Monroe Truck's security fence, then abandoned it when he realized how obviously it was damaged.

"It smashed right through the fence," Chief of Police Fred Kelley said. "He thought he'd be spotted right away."

After that, the boy allegedly went back and helped himself to a second truck.

Within minutes, Green County deputies caught up with the truck on Wisconsin 69 south of Washington Road, near Monticello, and tried to stop it as it approached County C. Instead, the driver accelerated and turned east onto Lake Avenue in Monticello, as a Monticello squad approached in the opposite lane.

"The suspect vehicle swerved left of center and attempted to ram the Monticello squad car head-on," according to a news release from Richard Wyttenbach, interim sheriff. The officer driving the squad was able to pull onto the shoulder to avoid a collision.

The boy then reportedly stopped, put the truck in reverse and rammed into a Green County squad behind him, then took off. When the Monticello squad pulled around and tried again to stop the driver, the truck again stopped, reversed and rammed into that squad.

At this, the Monticello officer got out and fired several shots from his service weapon at the truck as it fled.

The truck was located abandoned east of Monticello in the eastbound lane of County EE with the driver's door left open.

Police dogs eventually tracked down and arrested the boy, apparently the sole occupant of the truck. He was found in a ditch in the W4200 block of County EE, about two miles west of the abandoned truck.

He faces tentative charges of fleeing an officer, reckless endangerment (two counts), criminal damage to property (five counts) and operating a motor vehicle without the owner's consent (two counts). He being held in a juvenile detention facility.

The boy was uninjured in the ordeal and no other injuries were reported, Wyttenbach said. Both squads sustained significant damage - about $4,000 each - but the officers driving them escaped serious injury. The officers were later taken to Monroe Clinic for a checkup.

"We hope to get restitution out of that 15-year-old someday," Wyttenbach said.

Monticello police are doing follow-up investigation on the shots fired by the Monticello officer, according to Wyttenbach. Also assisting in the case were Albany police, New Glarus police, the Monticello Fire Department and Green County Highway Department.