Fitchburg police arrested three 14-year-old boys early Thursday after an officer saw them driving a stolen car on Fitchburg’s north side.

An officer saw the vehicle being driven on the Verona Road frontage at Atticus Way around 2:40 a.m. Wednesday and attempted to stop it, according to a news release from the department. The driver and his two passengers were later seen by a Town of Madison officer, who deployed a tire deflation device, the release said.

The driver of the vehicle kept going, the release said, and eventually was found by a state trooper on the Beltline, where one of the tires came off the car and the occupants fled.

Police took the driver and one of the passengers into custody after a short foot chase, and the third was located by a K-9 unit.

The three were taken to the county’s Juvenile Reception Center, and police recommended charges of operating a without consent and resisting an officer for each, as well as eluding an officer for the driver.

Incidents of stolen vehicles have increased in Fitchburg over last year, with 46 cars being stolen this year as of last week, versus 38 the year prior.

Email reporter Kimberly Wethal at kimberly.wethal@wcinet.com and follow her on Twitter @kimberly_wethal.​