Lowell teen charged after stolen car crashes

SALEM, NH — A car abandoned after it crashed on a traffic island at the Mall at Rockingham Park led to the arrest of a Lowell teenager late Sunday night.

Jason Ruggs, 17, faces a felony charge of receiving stolen property, and charges of conduct after an accident, operating without a license and being a fugitive from justice, according to Salem Deputy police Chief Shawn Patten.

Officer Eric Dugas saw a car on one of the traffic islands just before midnight Sunday.

The car had crashed and there was no one nearby.

Police checked the registration and discovered the car had been reported stolen from Lowell.

Dugas reviewed surveillance video and was able to share a description of the suspect involved with other officers.

Officer Tom Kench found Ruggs walking in the mall parking lot.

The suspect did not have any identification, but matched the surveillance images of the driver who crashed and fled the scene.

Once police identified Ruggs, they learned he was wanted on a warrant out of Massachusetts for parole violations.

The teen was taken into custody and held pending arraignment and extradition hearings in Salem District Court.

As of yesterday afternoon. Ruggs was still being held in New Hampshire.