The pursuit began early Tuesday after a store manager reported that two girls entered the store around 4 a.m. and stole potato chips and other items before taking off in a car, Cincinnati police said.
The responding officer saw a similar vehicle pass by about 4:45 a.m. and unsuccessfully tried to pull it over, leading to the pursuit that ended with the crash in a nearby suburb, according to police.
The 16-year-old driver and two passengers, a 12-year-old and a 14-year-old, were taken to a Cincinnati hospital. The two older girls had injuries that weren't life-threatening, and the youngest was in critical, but stable, condition, police spokesman Sgt. Dennis Swingley said Wednesday.
Charges against the three girls were pending, he said.
The car's two other passengers, both juveniles, were cited for curfew violations and released to their parents, Swingley said. Police said they were not believed to have been involved in the alleged theft.
The officer who pursued the car reported that the driver attempted to walk away from the crash and was told to stop, or a stun gun would be used. The officer said he fired the stun gun after the driver ignored commands. The driver was not hit by the gun's barbs, but stopped at that point, according to police.
Swingley declined to release the officer's name. He said police were investigating whether the officer followed proper procedure.
Investigators said they were trying to determine whether the 16-year-old driver possessed a valid driver's license for the car, which was registered to the driver's mother, The Cincinnati Enquirer reported.
Information from: The Cincinnati Enquirer,http://www.enquirer.com