12-year-old steals minivan, leads deputies on high-speed chase, authorities say

Deputies say they arrested a 12-year-old boy after he stole his family's vehicle and led them...
Deputies say they arrested a 12-year-old boy after he stole his family's vehicle and led them on a pursuit.(Fresno County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Aug. 16, 2022 at 3:33 PM EDT
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FRESNO, Calif. (Gray News) - Authorities in central California say a 12-year-old has been arrested after he stole his family’s vehicle and led deputies on a pursuit.

The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office reports a deputy saw a large cloud of dust at about 9:30 a.m. Tuesday after a minivan had hit an advertisement sign.

According to the deputy, a traffic stop was initiated, but the van failed to stop.

The sheriff’s office said the driver, later determined to be a 12-year-old boy, accelerated to speeds over 70 mph, ran stop signs and was driving on the opposite side of the road at times.

Deputies said they made several attempts to disable the minivan by setting up spike strips, but the boy was able to avoid them.

Authorities said at about 10:30 a.m., a sergeant was putting a spike strip in place and the boy nearly struck him but instead hit the spike strip.

The minivan suffered damage to a tire, causing it to stop a mile away near Santa Fe County Road and American Avenue.

Deputies said they arrested the 12-year-old driver, who told them he took his family’s vehicle and intended to drive from Sacramento, where he used to live.

According to the sheriff’s office, the boy was booked on charges of auto theft, evading police and assault with a deadly weapon.

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