EUCLID, Ohio (WJW) — Video just released to the FOX 8 I-Team takes you inside the secret world of stolen car rings.
Teenage thieves are telling police they are on a “mission” as they steal cars and terrorize your streets.
Kids as young as 13 were just caught with a stolen car. The bust took investigators into the minds of teen car thieves. Police said so many juveniles are running wild on your streets, including a 17-year-old who is now wanted for shooting a Cleveland police detective two weeks ago in a stolen car case.
Euclid Police Chief Scott Meyer said his officers chased a stolen car on Friday evening. The car, driven by a 13-year-old, crashed in Cleveland. Officers were able to eventually arrest the four suspects — all teens.
“The one teen told our officer this is his mission, to steal cars and make money,” Meyer said. “They steal the cars and then get 10 bucks or so, and then go steal more. He said he had stolen dozens and dozens of them, around 50 or so.”
The chief said the juveniles also seemed surprised the officers pursued them, saying most departments won’t chase.
Euclid Police Capt. Mitch Houser said officers at his department are pursuing in some, if not all stolen car cases.
“At some point this has to stop. This has to end,” Houser said.
He added that many of the stolen cars are used in other crimes.
“And so, if you can cut down on the car thefts, you can cut down on the crimes committed with those stolen cars,” Houser said.
In the recent Cleveland case, officer Mark Bahrjiczuk was shot in an arm and leg as he chased a stolen car suspect. A warrant has been issued for the teen. The I-Team found that teen is facing 11 charges for shooting the officer over a stolen car.
The I-Team also discovered that teen had been on the run for months when that shooting happened. He is wanted for not showing up to court in two cases — one for assault and one for a stolen car. Police are continuing to search for him.