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Police seek teenage couple involved in alleged crime spree

"I think they're just driving, and it's getting increasingly dangerous for them, Grayson County Sheriff Norman Chaffins said of the Kentucky couple.

By Frances Burns

LEITCHFIELD, Ky., Jan. 16 (UPI) -- Police in southern states are searching for a young Kentucky man and his underage girlfriend, described as a young Bonnie and Clyde.

Investigators say Dalton Hayes, 18, and Cheyenne Phillips, 13, began their crime spree early this month by stealing a pickup truck in Grayson County in Kentucky. That truck was recovered this week in Georgia, and police there believe the couple stole another one.

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Both trucks had guns in them when they were stolen.

Grayson County Sheriff Norman Chaffins said he was concerned because the couple have gone from an area where police knew them and their families to places where they will be "treated differently."

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"I don't think they know where they are going, to be honest with you," he told the Lexington Herald-Leader. "I think they're just driving, and it's getting increasingly dangerous for them."

Phillips' father reported her missing Jan. 3.

Tammy Martin, Hayes' mother, said she last heard from him in text message Jan. 6: "Mommy, don't worry. I'm fine, okay -- plenty of money and food. Love you, good night, sweet dreams."

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Chaffins said Hayes faces charges of custodial interference because Phillips is a minor and the couple are also likely to be charged with auto theft. Investigators also believe they used stolen checks to buy two packs of mints Monday at a Manning, S.C., Walmart, writing checks over the purchase amount and getting cash back.

Like Chaffins, Manning Police Chief Blair Shaffer said he was concerned about Hayes and Phillips. But he said they have almost certainly left the area.

"If these kids are around and they are reading this story, call us at the police department," Shaffer told the State newspaper in Columbia. "These two kids need some help, and I know their parents are worried for them."

Chaffins urged the pair to return to Kentucky.

"Whatever it is, it can be worked through," he said. "That's what we want to tell these young people -- we want them to come home."

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