A two-week-long crime spree that drew comparisons to the exploits of Bonnie and Clyde ended abruptly early Sunday morning when two missing Kentucky teens were taken into custody by authorities in Florida, according to news reports.
Dalton Hayes, 18, and his 13-year-old girlfriend, Cheyenne Phillips, both reported missing on Jan. 3, were arrested in Panama City Beach, according to CNN. The teens are accused of stealing three vehicles in multiple states and Hayes is wanted on charges of custodial interference for luring Phillips away from home.
Unlike what happened to the real-life Bonnie and Clyde, the teens’ final moments of freedom ended in anticlimactic fashion after Panama City Beach police discovered the pair asleep in a Toyota Tundra that was originally stolen in Georgia, the Grayson County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement posted on Facebook. Panama City Beach police, acting on information from the U.S. Marshals Service, had been on the lookout for the teens after the stolen truck was spotted in a Kirkland’s parking lot, according to NBC.
“The vehicle was surrounded by law enforcement, and both Hayes and Phillips were taken into custody without further incident,” the statement said.
Hayes was taken to the Bay County Jail and Phillips was placed in the care of the Florida Department of Children and Families, according to NBC.
The statement said that authorities will attempt to extradite the duo to Kentucky, where they will face multiple felony charges.
“In total, Hayes and Phillips were on the run for approximately 14 days,” the statement added. “However, it should be noted that throughout the multi-state hunt for them, no civilian was injured, neither one of them were injured and no police officer was injured.”
Phillips’s father, who reported her missing, said that when his daughter left the house on Jan. 3, it seemed that nothing was amiss. That night, she stayed at Hayes’s home, his mother, Tammy Martin, told ABC affiliate WHAS.
Martin said the two had been dating for three months and that she was close to Cheyenne, who she believed was 19, according to WHAS. It is unclear whether Cheyenne’s parents knew that Hayes was 18 years old.
Martin returned home the following day, Jan. 4, after hearing Cheyenne had been reported missing, but they were already gone.
Two days later, Hayes texted his mother: “It says ‘Mommy, don’t worry. I’m fine, okay — plenty of money and food. Love you, good night, sweet dreams,’” she told reporters.
Police believe that, for a while at least, the couple bounced around between friends and family then stayed in abandoned homes and trailers in Kentucky. But on Jan. 11, things turned criminal when the pair allegedly stole a tan Toyota from a local garage.
Over the next few days, the teens were spotted in South Carolina and Georgia as they made their way south toward Florida, leaving parents and authorities to speculate about the reasons for their disappearance.
“I know Dalton, and he has a history of making bad, bad decisions,” Grayson County Sheriff Norman Chaffins told CNN, noting that the teen was out on bond after a recent burglary charge. “I was the school resource officer before I was elected sheriff. Dalton is known to have disciplinary and defiance issues at the high school with authority.”