Five juvenile inmates of the Noyes Children's Center in Rockville overpowered a counselor Saturday night, stole his car and were at large for 12 hours before they were captured by Frederick police yesterday morning.

The youths, from 15 to 17 years old and awaiting trial on charges ranging from armed robbery to felony larceny, were each charged with escape, auto theft, and assault with intent to murder on their return to the Noyes center at 2:30 p.m. yesterday, said Montgomery County police spokesman Cpl. Phil Caswell.

Caswell said the youths from Philadelphia, Frederick, the District, Suitland and Silver Spring -- tried to strangle a counselor with a shoelace before shoving him into an empty cell and stealing his car and jail keys at about 10:30 p.m. Saturday.

"One of the youths told the counselor that he had to use the bathroom while another said he had to return something to a friend inside the center," Caswell said. "They overpowered him when they came back. Frederick police found the car abandoned in Frederick at 2:30 a.m."

Caswell said the counselor was not seriously injured. The Noyes center is a Montgomery County facility for delinquent youths awaiting trial, he said.

Four of the youths were apprehended without incident by Frederick police at 10 a.m. outside the John Hanson apartment complex on Comus Road.

The fifth youth was caught by Frederick police at noon attempting to flee in a taxicab on Rte. I-270, Caswell said.