Juveniles arrested after vehicle thefts, many other criminal acts

Cpl. Nick Briggs, PIO

Monday, August 14, 2023 at 5:13 p.m.

This weekend, SPD responded to numerous incidents involving stolen vehicles, primarily Kia’s and Hyundai’s, that were subsequently driven in a dangerous manner. Approximately ten such weekend incidents are potentially related. Witnesses reported the stolen vehicles being occupied by multiple teenagers, some wearing masks or disguises, and being operated in an extremely reckless fashion; driving through a park/s, driving at high speeds and into on-coming traffic, and disregarding stop signs and traffic signals.

The stolen vehicles have been involved in multiple collisions, including one in which a pedestrian on a lime scooter was struck. Three suspects were arrested after that collision for a litany of charges including assault 2nd degree (felony), possession of a stolen motor vehicle, criminal conspiracy, theft of a motor vehicle, and attempting to elude a police vehicle.

Later that same evening, in another incident, a stolen vehicle being driven in a reckless manner crashed into a concrete abutment in a vacant lot on N Division St. Two individuals fled from the disabled vehicle, however officers were able to arrest both after a foot pursuit. They face charges including theft of a motor vehicle, possession of a stolen motor vehicle, possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver (at the time of arrest, a large quantity of marijuana was discovered), malicious mischief, obstructing a law enforcement officer, and DUI.

All five of the individuals arrested this weekend are teenagers, aged 16-17 years old.

SPD is grateful for the information provided by community members which has assisted in these investigations. As these incidents are largely or exclusively committed by juveniles, parents and guardians play a vital role in preventing these acts by being aware of where juveniles are, who they are with, what they are doing, and their social media activity.

These investigations are on-going, and additional arrests and charges are likely.

These incidents overwhelmingly involve the theft of Kia and Hyundai vehicles. If you own one of these brands, consider contacting the manufacturer to see if your automobile is susceptible to theft and any manufacturer-recommended modifications. Additionally, consider after-market devices, such as GPS trackers and steering-wheel immobilization tools, to improve your vehicle’s security.

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