It might be hard to believe, but a ten-year-old boy in Daytona, Florida, is being charged with four counts of grand theft auto in the last six weeks. He’s been stealing cars when he’s not even old enough to get a driver’s license.
The boy, whose name is being withheld due to his age, started his crime spree in June when he stole a car and left it parked outside a Target. Police caught him because he was still in the store when they arrived on the scene. But being caught the first time wasn’t enough to stop the little criminal; a few weeks later, he was caught on camera burglarizing a car.
“[H]e was caught on surveillance, alongside an accomplice, breaking into a car and searching through the vehicle to find a purse. The two burglars stole loose cash from the purse and tossed it over a fence before fleeing the scene,” reports Fox News.
Last Monday, July 17th, the minor delinquent escalated his crimes. Police were called to investigate an overnight burglary at Daytona Direct Auto. They discovered seven stolen vehicles and an additional six sets of keys stolen.
“One of the stolen cars was driven off the property by the 10-year-old boy,” detectives told The Daytona Beach News Journal.
Surveillance showed the boy didn’t work alone, and his unidentified accomplices appear to be around the same age. What could cause such young boys to turn to grand theft auto when adolescent theft usually stops at candy? Police say such brashness is rare in so young a criminal.
“He has a look-at-me attitude,” said Sgt. Tim Ehrenkaufer, who has been investigating the child since his first arrest. “He’s flashy.”
On Tuesday, police had decided enough was enough, and they fitted the boy with a monitoring anklet meant to keep him at his home. However, less than six hours later, he cut his anklet to go meet up with his car thief friends. Shortly after, police found him a stolen vehicle. He’s now serving thirty days in juvenile detention.
Police Chief Craig Capri says the ten-year-old hasn’t been in trouble before, and he believes the kid can be saved from a life of crime.
“He’s been getting involved with the wrong people, and his life is starting to spiral out of control,” Capri told the press.
He continued, “His mom is asking for help…She can’t control the kid. She’s asking for help, so we’re going to try and help her out.
Although Capri didn’t say what the police would do specifically, he seemed sure that they would be able to help.
“I think this kid can be saved,” Capri added. “He has a chance to change.”