Watch: 12-year-old boy steals forklift; hits 10 cars and leads police on wild chase

Multiple officers initiated a pursuit of the vehicle and eventually apprehended the child, who has now been sent to juvenile detention centre

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Published: Wed 29 Nov 2023, 12:55 PM

A 12-year-old Michigan boy went on a joy ride through Ann Arbor after stealing a 35,000-pound (15,876 kg) Construction Genie GTH-636 Telehandler with a forklift. The police were alerted at approximately 6:45pm when the kid took the equipment from Forsythe Middle School.

The chase lasted more than an hour during which the kid hit around 10 parked vehicles in the Georgetown Boulevard neighbourhood. "At 6:48 pm officers located the stolen vehicle being driven southbound on Brooks Street near Pearl Street without any lights on,” the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement released on X, formerly Twitter. "Multiple officers initiated a pursuit of the vehicle at speeds of 15 to 20 mph with emergency lights and sirens on."

Dashcam footage showed the cops chasing the forklift.

Deputies eventually took the boy in custody outside Ann Arbor city limits. The kid (name not disclosed) has been placed in a juvenile detention centre. "No one was injured in the pursuit. This was a very dangerous situation that could’ve easily ended with serious injuries," the statement added. "The incident remains an active and ongoing criminal investigation."

Investigators later found that the boy could operate the equipment because of a hidden key in an unlocked cab. “Preliminary investigation revealed the juvenile gained access to the construction vehicle at Forsyth Middle School. The vehicle was unlocked with the key hidden inside the cab,” they said.

The incident occurred after the Ohio State vs. Michigan football game. A player, Musa Basal, saw the forklift driving off. “Crazy experience. I was like, ‘What is going on?’” he told WHIO. “I mean, I’m just a little surprised that he was able to operate that and managed to get the keys to that and then start it. Kind of shocked,” said Basal.

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