Two teenage lovers have finally been captured by police after allegedly wreaking havoc in a handful of southern states for the past two weeks.
18-year-old Dalton Hayes and 13-year-old Cheyenne Phillips were apprehended early this morning in Panama City Beach. Officials believe the couple had left their small Kentucky hometown about 14 days ago and reportedly launched a crime spree involving stolen cars and checks across Georgia, South Carolina, and Florida. The New York Post offers a brief rundown of the couple’s activities:
Norman Chaffins, sheriff in Grayson County, Kentucky, where the pair disappeared 14 days ago, said the couple’s behavior had become “increasingly brazen and dangerous.”
Twice, the teens were able to evade law officers in Kentucky, the sheriff said. They crashed the first truck they stole and hid in the woods. Then they later stole another truck nearby, Chaffins said.
At one point, the two were spotted at a Wal-Mart in South Carolina, where the teens are thought to have passed two stolen checks, said Manning, South Carolina, Police Chief Blair Shaffer. They were seen in a vehicle that apparently was stolen from Kentucky, he said.
Authorities believe they then headed to Georgia and stole a pickup truck from the driveway of a man’s home in Henry County, about 30 miles southeast of Atlanta. The homeowner awoke Wednesday to find his vehicle was gone, along with two handguns he kept inside, Henry County police Lt. Joey Smith said.
Hours later, another truck the couple are suspected of having stolen in another state was found nearby. It had been crashed through a fence and abandoned behind a vacant building on neighboring property, Smith said.
The modern-day Bonnie & Clyde had been dating for three months, with Hayes under the impression that Phillips was 19 years old. According to his mother, by the time he found out she was really 13, he was “already done in love with her.” Police say part of the reason Hayes wanted to leave Kentucky was to evade the law — he faced burglary and theft charges following an arrest last year.