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St. Pete and Orlando lead Florida in juvenile auto theft arrests, according to new report

Car break-in
Posted at 12:48 PM, Aug 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-20 17:43:54-04

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — St. Petersburg and Orlando led the state in juvenile auto theft arrests for the past five years, according to a new report from The Caruthers Institute.

According to the report, St. Petersburg and Orlando had more than 900 arrests during that five-year period.

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“Children as young as 13 years old are stealing cars and joyriding at speeds of 100 miles per hour,” said Dewey Caruthers, president of The Caruthers Institute.

Sandra Bentil, a spokesperson for St. Petersburg Police Department, told ABC Action News that the numbers relating to overall auto thefts have been trending downward in the last several years.

In July, a 15-year-old was arrested for crashing a stolen car into a St. Petersburg police sergeant’s cruiser. He and his three passengers inside the stolen vehicle were treated and released from the hospital with minor injuries.

The sergeant also went to the hospital and was expected to be OK.

Miami was the next highest-ranking city for juvenile auto thefts with nearly 750 arrests.

To read the full study, click here.