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No joy in this ride

Sheriffs arrest 12 year old on grand theft auto charges after getaway is thwarted

Posted: March 7, 2009 12:56 a.m.
Updated: March 7, 2009 4:55 a.m.
 
Santa Clarita Valley sheriff’s deputies arrested a 12-year-old boy who allegedly stole a car, fled from deputies on foot and hopped a city bus in a getaway bid Friday, a sheriff’s official said.

The suspect allegedly stole a 2001 Honda Accord from a Canyon Country woman who left the engine idling while she unpacked items at her home in the 26000 block of Claudette Street in Canyon Country, Sgt. Darren Harris said.

The suspect struck about 10 a.m. between the victim’s trips to the car, he said.

Deputies spotted the car driving on Solamint Road about 15 minutes later with two occupants. When deputies tried to pull over the car, the suspect jumped out of the Honda and fled on foot, Harris said.

Deputies converged on the location, but the boy eluded them and hopped on a Santa Clarita Transit bus.

Neighbors, however, saw the suspect board the bus.

Acting on the tip, deputies apprehended the bus-riding alleged bandit without incident.

“This is a perfect example of the community working together with law enforcement to keep our community safe,” Harris said.

The youngster is a two-time offender, according to Harris. The same boy was arrested last December in a grand-theft incident in which money and a cell phone were stolen.

The boy was cited and released to his parents in the previous incident.

“We want to give parents every opportunity to work through these things with their family. We want these kids to succeed,” Harris said.

“It’s disheartening to see such a young kid be involved in something like this, but this is a severe crime.”

The passenger in the vehicle was also a 12-year-old boy, picked up after the theft by the driver to go on a joy ride, Harris said. The passenger was released to his parents.

The driver will be charged with felony grand theft auto and was being held in Sylmar Juvenile Detention Center without bail pending court proceedings.

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