By Julie Grant

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EAST LIBERTY (KDKA) – Two juveniles are facing charges after being caught driving a stolen vehicle in East Liberty.

Recently, Zone 5 in the City of Pittsburgh five has seen an uptick in thefts.

“We’ve been specifically focusing on this area because we’ve had a bunch of auto thefts and thefts from vehicles,” said Zone 5 Commander Jason Lando of Pittsburgh Bureau of Police.

Tuesday was another example, but police were there to stop the alleged thieves.

On Tuesday, two Pittsburgh Police Zone 5 Officers were patrolling Penn Avenue in East Liberty when they pulled alongside an SUV that had a driver that looked too young to be driving.

“The kids were clearly very focused on the officers, as they were staring back at the police car, instead of watching the road ahead of them. They ran into the car that was in front of them,” said Commander Lando.

As the children were staring, the officers were checking the license plate.

“As this was occurring, the officers received information on their computer that it was in fact a stolen vehicle,” said Commander Lando.

At that point, three juveniles took off running and police chased them.

“The officers got out of their vehicle and one chased one of the passengers, the other one chased the driver,” said Commander Lando.

The driver was arrested in the 100 block of North Euclid Avenue. The passenger was arrested after running through a home in the 5600 block of North Broad Street. The third juvenile got away.

As the chase was happening, police got a report of two car break-ins nearby.

“We later found that the passenger that we had in custody had credit cards in his pocket that were stolen from one of the vehicles. So that’s how we were able to link it all together,” said Commander Lando.

It’s also possible there could be another link to recent carjackings in the East End.

“Our detectives, right now, they’re looking at all the cases and they’re comparing video footage, suspect descriptions, they’re doing some interviews. They’re just trying to see if there is a link between all these kids we’ve apprehended,” said Commander Lando.

The 12-year-old was taken to Shuman Center. He also had a warrant for his arrest out of Westmoreland county. The 11-year-old was processed and then released to a parent. They will both face charges in Juvenile Court.