JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Last week, seven juveniles were apprehended by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office (JSO) in connection with a police pursuit involving a stolen red Kia. According to the police report, the Kia was used in a robbery on the same day it was stolen.
The incident unfolded when a 2019 Kia sedan was reported stolen from a residence in the Westside area. Later, the stolen vehicle was found ablaze in a ditch next to a gas station in New Town after a chase involving JSO officers and suspects.
The owner of the stolen car discovered its absence on Wednesday morning, August 2, after reviewing surveillance footage that showed it parked at her home until 8:30 a.m. On the same day, JSO contacted her to inform her about the destruction of her car during the pursuit involving multiple suspects.
The police revealed that the suspects ranged in age from 9 to 14 years old, with the 14-year-old driver being taken into custody and charged with various crimes, including carrying a concealed firearm, aggravated fleeing and eluding, and resisting arrest without violence.
While six of the juveniles are facing charges of trespassing and resisting arrest without violence, one of them was taken to the hospital but is expected to recover. Charges are pending for this individual due to their age. The driver, as the primary offender, is facing additional charges.
The car owner mentioned that her vehicle did not have a push-button starter, and the police informed her that the suspects used some sort of device to start the car and flee.
JSO reported an increase in stolen Kia vehicles in recent days, with half of the stolen cars in Jacksonville two weeks ago being Hyundai and Kia models. Both automakers have sent letters to their vehicle owners, warning them that if they have a key ignition start instead of a push-button start, their cars are at risk of theft.
To address this issue, they are offering free installations of software that prevents the vehicles from starting if they are broken into.