CHICAGO (CBS) — How did three young teen who are still on the loose manage to escape from Chicago police custody? It happened Monday night just outside the Juvenile Intervention and Support Center on the city’s Southwest Side. Police sources tell CBS 2’s Megan Hickey there were four boys, all between 13 and 14, and three of them escaped by breaking the door of the police van and jumping out.

Only one of the four young shoplifters picked up at a clothing store Monday afternoon actually made it to the Juvenile Intervention and Support Center in Brighton Park.

Police sources say the 13 and 14-year-olds broke off a metal plate inside the door of the police wagon.

They escaped out of the opening and took off running. Police in the 1st and 9th districts were all on alert, and despite setting up a perimeter and calling for a K9 unit, at last check, those teens had not been caught.

As it turns out none of them was handcuffed.

CBS 2 wanted to know if the teens should have been in restraints. We turned to CPD’s juvenile processing policing that was last updated in February of this year. It says an officer has to weigh several factors including age, physical size conduct.

At least one of the boys was under 5 feet tall, according to a police radio description.

The restraint policy also says the safety of the officer and the juvenile should be a factor.

Chicago police would not confirm or comment on any of the details of the escape citing a pending investigation.

It is important to note the charges for these teens would likely be a low level juvenile misdemeanor, depending on their criminal histories.

Megan Hickey