Police in multiples states are still hunting for two Kentucky teenagers on a known crime spree, à la Bonnie and Clyde.
The teens have been identified by authorities as Cheyenne Phillips, 13, and Dalton Hayes, 18. The pair have been on the run since early January, and have been committing crimes across several state lines. Hayes and Phillips hail from Grayson County, Kentucky, a small rural community in the northwestern part of the state.
On January 3, Cheyenne’s father called the police to report that his daughter, a seventh-grader at Grayson County Middle School, hadn’t come home that night. It was later reported that she had spent the night at Dalton’s home, a fact that his mother was aware of. It wasn’t until police contacted her the next day, however, that Hayes’ mother, Tammy Martin, was informed that Cheyenne was just 13-years-old. The girl had told Martin that she was 19, and it is believed that she told her boyfriend the same when they began seeing one another.
Martin immediately sent a text to Cheyenne to tell her that the police were looking for her and that they knew she was underage, demanding the two stay home until she arrived. When Tammy returned to house, the teens were gone. Little did anyone know that a crime spree had begun.
Much has occurred since Phillips and Hayes were last seen by Dalton’s mother on January 4. They first stole a truck and used it to tear through a cattle farm, causing $7,500 worth of damage to the vehicle and leaving behind a trail of destruction through the property. The teens were tracked by plane and K-9 units, but all that was recovered were items of clothing and the totaled truck. Later the same day, the pair stole a red 2006 Toyota Tacoma and seemed to disappear. It was later revealed to authorities that inside the Tacoma was a gun, though no ammunition had been inside when the truck was stolen.
On January 12, the teens were spotted on surveillance footage in Wal-Mart in Manning, South Carolina, where the red Tacoma was parked outside. They bought two packs of mints, each using a stolen check written for $20 over to pay for the purchase, receiving $40 in cash back. Police were notified by the issuing banks that the stolen checks had been used, which led them to video footage of the two in the Manning Wal-Mart. They were seen entering and walking around the store and later leaving in the red truck.
On January 15, the Tacoma was abandoned in Henry County, Georgia, about 30 miles outside of Atlanta. Authorities believe that Hayes and Phillips may now be driving a stolen silver 2001 Toyota Tundra with a Georgia certified firefighter license plate, number CF116I. The truck was reported stolen during the same time frame that the Tacoma was left in the area. Police believe they are now in possession of more than one gun, though this has not been confirmed. They are currently unaware of the teens’ location. Authorities are growing increasingly concerned with the couple’s growing list of offenses, and worry that the situation will continue to escalate.
Grayson County Sheriff Norman Chaffins said, “I don’t think they know where they are going, to be honest with you. I think they’re just driving, and it’s getting increasingly dangerous for them. These two kids need some help, and I know their parents are worried for them. We just want them to come in, turn themselves in because eventually it’s just going get worse for them, and law enforcement, and we do not want that to happen.”
Neither Hayes nor Phillips have made much contact with their parents since the crime spree began. On January 5, one day after fleeing, Cheyenne sent a text message to her mother Sherry Peters asking for $100 to be sent to them.
The next message from her daughter read, “We’re just going to run.”
Peters then replied, “No, you don’t need to do this.”
Peters said she had been advised by the police to call them if they heard from Cheyenne, which she promptly did after receiving the text messages. The couple escaped and Cheyenne has not contacted her mother since.
“I wish I hadn’t listened to the authorities about the situation because I could have went down there and had my daughter in the car and the cops could have had them,” she later said.
Peters has also added that there is some concern about a pregnancy, but has not elaborated on that statement.
Hayes’ mother, Tammy Martin, has said that Dalton has contacted her via text message as well, saying simply, “I’ll call soon.”
While the idea of a modern-day Bonnie and Clyde could easily be romanticized by some, the fact remains that the pair are very young and no doubt scared despite their crime spree. Police are urging anyone with information as to their whereabouts to call 911 and notify local authorities. The teens are still believed to be in possession of at least one firearm, and are not to be approached by anyone outside of law enforcement.
[Image courtesy of the Daily Mail]