Four Seneca County teens arrested for alleged crime spree ending in a South Carolina high speed chase

Alexander Van Vleet

Four teens from Ovid, Seneca County, were arrested in connection with a crime spree ending in South Carolina.

Seneca County Sheriff Jack S. Stenberg says that four Seneca County teens were arrested in connection with a stolen South Seneca School bus, a burglary at an Ovid liquor store, a home invasion in the Town of Erwin, and a high speed chase in Landrum, South Carolina.

Arrested were Alexander S. VanVleet, 19, Adam Campbell, 19, Sarah Smith, 17, and a 15-year-old male is being withheld pending Juvenile Offender status. All teens are from Ovid.

On February 19, Seneca County deputies found a South Seneca school bus that had been stolen from the Main Street, Ovid school property. The bus was heavily vandalized and had been involved in an accident on County Road 131. Then, on February 22, deputies say they were dispatched to a reported burglary at the Ovid Liquor Store on Seneca Street.

Deputies say they were able to identify four persons of interest in the two incidents and determined that the suspects had fled Seneca County.

Around midnight on February 24, deputies say a home invasion was reported in the Steuben County Town of Erwin where two elderly persons were allegedly tied up and robbed of a vehicle.

Deputies say it was determined they were looking for the same individuals. Investigators found that the home invasion victims were targeted due to a previous connection with at least one of our persons of interest.

Investigators were able to gather enough evidence to obtain arrest warrants for VanVleet, Campbell, Smith and the 15-year-old in connection with the school bus theft and broadcast a nationwide police alert.

Deputies say investigators developed information that group was headed to the Clemson, South Carolina area and police in that area were alerted.

Here's how deputies describe what happened next:

On February 25, â??police in Landrum, South Carolina spotted the stolen vehicle on I-26 and an attempt was made to stop the vehicle. A 15 mile high speed chase ensued resulting in an accident and immediate apprehension of Campbell, Smith and the 15 year old. VanVleet fled on foot and after a short foot chase, he was apprehended and taken into custody. The stolen vehicle was recovered with investigators finding that the four had attempted to disguise the stolen vehicle by spray painting it with paint purchased at a Steuben County store.â??

Deputies say the group was held at the Spartanburg County Detention Facility with the 15-year-old held in juvenile detention. All four appeared in court in South Carolina, waived extradition, and are being returned to New York.

Deputies say that all four suspects will be arraigned on a variety of criminal charges in connection with the stolen school bus and burglary.

The investigations are continuing and additional arrests are pending.