Police say a driver escaped from Roanoke County officers early Saturday just before they discovered a string of thefts from vehicles.

Officers went to the 4500 block of Summerset Drive in the Buck Mountain Road area about 4:30 a.m. on a report of suspicious people tampering with a vehicle, according to police.

Shortly afterward they heard a car alarm and saw a black Chevrolet Impala leaving an apartment building.

Police chased the Impala onto Buck Mountain Road, where it struck a curb at Eagle Crest Drive, flattening both front tires.

The driver ran away, and a K9 team couldn’t find the person.

Police arrested a 20-year-old passenger and detained a 15-year-old and two 17-year-old boys.

Tyrese J. Hairston is charged with larceny of a firearm and three counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, police said.

Police said thieves entered 38 unlocked vehicles in the Penn Forest and Buck Mountain Road area.

They found items from several of those vehicles in the Impala or in front yards. Investigators recovered two handguns from the Impala, which itself was reported stolen from Roanoke.

The rash of thefts comes two weeks after another string of thefts from vehicles in southwest Roanoke County, which police also estimated at 38 break-ins.

A county spokesman said it’s unknown if there’s any connection.

Anyone with information may call police at 562-3265.

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