TAMPA (FOX 13) - Two teenagers are facing a list of serious charges after Hillsborough deputies caught them driving a stolen car with thousands of dollars in stolen items inside the vehicle.
Detectives said the teens, 14 and 16 years old, were caught in a car that had been reported stolen out of Clearwater.
"These kids were pretty active," said Maj. Rob Bullara. "The vehicle that we recovered that they were in at this time was taken out of another county, so they were not only operating in Hillsborough County, but in other adjacent counties."
Bullara said the teenagers are suspected of "car-hopping" in neighborhoods, or going from one vehicle to the next, looking for unlocked doors. Deputies believe they burglarized cars and homes.
According to deputies, the teenagers were found with several items including a gun, electronics, credit cards and jewelry, totaling more than $10,000.
"These two kids, we know for sure, have been operating over six months," Bullara said. "These two youths were on their own crime spree."
The father of the 14-year-old didn't want to be identified, but told FOX 13 he is at a loss.
"Disappointment in my son obviously," the father said. "I thought I did a pretty good job raising him. It's devastating to my wife. When they read the charges off she about fainted in the court."
The teenager's dad said his son has been in and out of juvenile detention since October and had been missing since last Wednesday.
The parents had been working with detectives to try to locate him.
"I want to talk to him and I want to guide him the right way, but a part of me now is just I don't know what to do," the teen's father said. "I can only hope and pray that they don't charge him as an adult."
Investigators believe the teenagers may be responsible for as many as nine burglaries. They are also accused of stealing four guns, but deputies have only been able to recover one of them.