DOWAGIAC — A woman shopping at a Dowagiac liquor store found out the hard way Saturday that leaving your car running while it is unattended can end badly.

Dowagiac police say they believe the woman’s car was stolen Saturday evening as she stopped briefly at the Northside Liquor Store to run in and make a purchase. 

As a result, two 17-year-olds and a 15-year-old were arrested that evening and faces charges related to taking the vehicle. The 15-year-old was driving, police said. Two other juveniles were turned over to their parents, and the vehicle was returned to its owner undamaged.

Dowagiac police were called just after 6 p.m. to the store in the 600 block of North Front Street. They were given a description of the vehicle and a short time later a Cass County sheriff’s deputy spotted it on Dewey Lake Street in Wayne Township, about five miles north of the city. The deputy tried to stop the vehicle but the driver fled south on M-51 from Dewey Lake street, coming to a stop near the intersection of M-51 North and Elm Street. 

Five people were apprehended at the scene, including the two 17-year-olds, both from Benton Harbor; the 15-year-old, from Dowagiac; and two more juveniles who were not detained by police. 

Police did not release the names of the victim or any of the suspects, who are being charged with receiving and concealing a stolen motor vehicle.

Dowagiac police were assisted by the Cass County Sheriff’s Office, Silver Creek Township Police, Michigan State Police, Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office and the Pokagon Band Tribal Police.