WASHINGTON – Maryland State Police were searching for a teen boy who was reported missing from a state-run group home in Garrett County and is now believed to have committed several crimes while on the run.
Police spent five hours Tuesday searching for Leandro Ovalles of Silver Spring after he crashed a stolen car along Interstate 70 near Hagerstown and was later spotted trying to burglarize a home nearby. Investigators called in a police helicopter and a blood hound to help track the teen.
The 16-year-old rear-ended a mowing tractor as it was cutting grass along the interstate about 7:30 a.m. Tuesday.
Maryland State Police Lt. Michael Fluharty says the teen ditched the stolen Jeep he had been driving and ran off into nearby woods.
The State Highway Administration owns the mowing tractor and says the operator was not hurt.
“This is not a dangerous juvenile. There are no weapons involved. However being a juvenile, he’s not making good decisions and he’s gonna run,” Fluharty says.
He says the teen was first reported missing Monday night. Now the teen is linked to at least three crimes, including the theft of the Jeep from Allegany County plus the hit and run with the lawnmower.
He is also wanted for the attempted burglary of a home in Washington County. Police say a homeowner chased the teen from the home.
Police describe Ovalles as about 5-foot-10. He was last seen wearing a green and blue stripped shirt.
Police say anyone who spots the teen should not to approach him but call 911 or the Maryland State Police at 301-766-3810.
WTOP’s Megan Cloherty contributed to this report. Follow @WTOP on Twitter and on Facebook.