Unprecedented Joyride Ends Safely, But Raises Concerns
In an unusual turn of events, a 12-year-old boy from Ann Arbor, Michigan, embarked on an hour-long, low-speed chase, maneuvering a stolen construction forklift through suburban streets.
The unidentified boy was spotted behind the wheel of the pilfered forklift on a Saturday evening, drawing the attention of law enforcement after the vehicle was reported stolen from Forsythe Middle School, as disclosed by the Ann Arbor Police Department.
The pursuit, which unfolded at speeds of 15 to 20 mph, was captured on video as police trailed the young driver through the suburb. The boy skillfully navigated the forklift, mounting curbs, disregarding traffic signals, and even toppling a road sign.
Authorities faced a unique challenge during the chase, as they cautiously approached the forklift, wary of its hooks potentially causing damage to their vehicles. The boy, undeterred, continued his escapade, striking approximately 10 parked vehicles along the way.
The pursuit took an unexpected turn when the young driver crossed the M-14 highway, prompting Ann Arbor police to cease their chase. However, deputies from the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office continued the pursuit until the boy finally came to a stop in the area of M-14 and Gotfredson.
No injuries were reported during the leisurely pursuit, and the 12-year-old was subsequently taken into custody, later sent to a juvenile detention center. The stolen vehicle, identified as a Construction Genie GTH-636 Telehandler equipped with a forklift, had been accessed using a key concealed in the cab.
Ann Arbor police underscored the gravity of the situation, noting that the incident posed a significant risk of serious injuries and emphasized that the case remains an active and ongoing criminal investigation.
In response to the peculiar incident, a YouTube user humorously commented, “Someone is NOT seeing Santa this year!” capturing the lighthearted perspective on the unexpected joyride.