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2 cruisers hit during chase

Authorities say four teenagers and a 23-year-old, all from Lakeland, had a busy morning Wednesday in Hillsborough County.

Officials say the five stole two trucks, burglarized three other vehicles and led Hillsborough deputies and Lakeland police on an hourlong chase that ended when two patrol cars were rammed.

It began about 1 a.m. when a Hillsborough deputy answered a stolen truck call for a 1995 Dodge pickup and realized he had seen it on 78th Street accompanied by a Chevrolet Caprice, said sheriff's spokesman Jack Espinosa. The officer issued a radio alert, and the truck and car were seen on U.S. 301 near Riverview Drive a short time later.

The Caprice was stopped by deputies on Interstate 75 and its four occupants arrested.

Deputies say 17-year-old Billy Carlisle didn't give up so easily.

He led four Hillsborough patrol cars and a helicopter on a 60-mile, 60-minute chase that ended in Lakeland after the teen rammed two sheriff's cars and drove into a ditch on Interstate 4 near U.S. 98.

Carlisle, of 2421 W Parker St., was charged with grand theft auto, two counts of aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer, two counts of aggravated assault, one count of fleeing and eluding police nd resisting arrest without violence.

The Caprice was not stolen, but its occupants were charged with other crimes, authorities said. Nicholas Benjamin, 16, will be returned to Lakeland where he had escaped from a detention facility. He is charged with the escape and one count of car theft.

Julio Veldez, 18, Billie Burdine, 18, and Donald Harrison, 23, were being held on one count of grand theft auto each. Bail was set at $1,000 each.

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