In a bizarre and dangerous episode, a 12-year-old car thief allegedly stole an SUV and took it on a chaotic joyride across several boroughs of New York City, using a child’s booster seat to see over the dashboard.
According to authorities, the incident took place on the night of October 30 in Staten Island after a minor swiped a Hyundai SUV while accompanied by a 16-year-old girl.
According to the New York Post, the “pint-sized car thief” managed to cross both the Verrazzano-Narrows and Brooklyn bridges, making his way into Manhattan.
Local law enforcement was able to locate the stolen vehicle the next day at approximately 11 a.m.
NYPD officers then attempted to pull the child driver over at Canal and Allen streets near Chinatown, but the young suspect fled, colliding with several vehicles in the process.
Shortly after, authorities were finally able to apprehend the boy after he crashed once again, this time at Ridge and Stanton streets on the Lower East Side.
Four injuries were reported among the vehicles struck by the young driver, including one pedestrian who was also hit during the reckless pursuit.
Fortunately, the victims were transported to local hospitals with minor injuries.
The NYPD has refrained from releasing the identities of the minor suspects involved due to their age.
Police noted that the suspect even used a car seat as a booster to see over the dashboard, adding to the absurdity of the situation.
Photos of the crash scene revealed the car seat positioned behind the wheel of the wrecked silver Hyundai.
Both the 12-year-old boy and his teenage companion now face charges of criminal possession of stolen property, reckless endangerment and unauthorized use of a vehicle without the owner’s consent.
Under New York state law, they will be tried as juveniles in Family Court.
Critics have expressed concern about the potential repercussions of such leniency for young offenders.
“The lackadaisical enforcement of and adherence to our laws has now trickled down to our schools, where children now think they can do whatever they want with no consequences,” one law enforcement source lamented to The Post.
“Elected officials have established a permission structure for kids to commit serious crimes that could potentially lead to the death of others,” another source added. “But God forbid we do car stops anymore. This innocent youth may have to be subject to the criminal justice system.”