On Monday, defense attorney Bill Grogin represented the three in Faribault County District Court.
Aaron Michael Ellerman, 16, pleaded guilty to theft of a motor vehicle and fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle, both felony-level charges. A gross misdemeanor charge of escaping from custody was dismissed.
Two other males, ages 15 and 14, pleaded guilty to aiding/abetting the theft of a motor vehicle and also had escaping from custody charges dropped.
The youths have been held in the county jail since being arrested.
Judge Douglas Richards ordered the three be returned to YSI temporarily until their home counties decide what action to take.
According to a court complaint, an Elmore police officer on Dec. 30 responded to a call that three juveniles had escaped from YSI, a residential treatment center for troubled males and females ages 13-19.
Later in the day, Blue Earth officer Tom Fletcher investigated a report of a male attempting to steal a pick up truck on East Fifth Street in Blue Earth.
A court complaint says when the owner of the truck confronted the person he drove off in a dark-colored van with writing on a side.
Fletcher located the van, which was reported stolen in Elmore, at the Shell gas station near Interstate 90.
Court papers say Ellerman drove off after putting gas in the van and being asked for identification.
A court complaint says authorities pursued the van and it destroyed a sign on the Dairy Queen property and it also struck a water hydrant in a residential area.
When the chase entered