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Young boy leads Michigan police on hourlong chase in stolen forklift

Ann Arbor police said the 12-year-old stole the vehicle — weighing up to 35,000 pounds — from a local middle school using a key found in the cab.
Police dash camera footage shows officers pursuing a stolen construction vehicle.
Posted at 11:37 AM, Nov 28, 2023

A 12-year-old Michigan boy was arrested Monday night after leading police on an hourlong chase in a stolen forklift, colliding with about 10 parked cars in the process.

The City of Ann Arbor Police Department said it received a call around 6:45 p.m. and minutes later found a boy driving down the road in a heavy-duty Construction Genie GTH-636 Telehandler equipped with a forklift. The vehicle can weigh upwards of 35,000 pounds and is typically used in construction, landscaping and agriculture, according to the Genie website.

With lights on and sirens blaring, police said they pursued the vehicle south through the city at speeds of 15-20 mph but the boy refused to stop. Dash camera video shared by police showed the boy driving erratically at times, ramming into several cars during the pursuit.

Then at approximately 7:18 p.m., Ann Arbor police said they were forced to terminate their chase after the boy crossed a bridge and left their jurisdiction. 

At that time, authorities said deputies with the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office picked up the pursuit and continued to follow the vehicle until it stopped at about 7:53 p.m. Police said the Ann Arbor boy was taken into custody and later booked at a juvenile detention center. 

"This was a very dangerous situation that could've easily ended with serious injuries," authorities said in a statement. "The incident remains an active and ongoing investigation." 

Authorities later discovered that the boy had stolen the vehicle using a key hidden inside the cab. No injuries were reported from the incident.