RINGWOOD, N.J. (AP) -- Police searched Monday for three teenage boys who they say escaped from a state detention center over the weekend after attacking an employee, stealing his keys and carjacking his van with a sleeping woman inside.

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The boys -- a 15-year-old and two 17-year-olds, all from Newark -- fled from the minimum-security Green Residential Community Home on Sunday, Ringwood police told The Record. All three were being held there on probation violations.

Authorities say the teens attacked a 71-year-old employee in the laundry room and stole his keys. They then drove off in his van, unaware that the employee's friend, a 29-year-old woman, was sleeping in the backseat.

The employee and the woman were not injured in the incident, and their names have not been released. The woman and the van were found in Newark early Monday.

The state Department of Justice is handling the investigation into the escape.

The community home from which the teens fled is on the grounds of Ringwood State Park. It houses up to 32 male offenders between 13 and 16 years old.

Authorities say the residential facility is for teens who commit lower-level offenses or are nearing the time when they will be released from custody. They say it is not a jail-type facility.


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