FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Deputies arrested a 12-year-old boy from Hanford on Monday morning for stealing his family’s mini-van, according to the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office.
According to officials, shortly after 9:30 a.m., a Fresno County Sheriff’s deputy was alerted to an area with a large cloud of dust. Upon arriving, a resident told the deputy that a mini-van had struck an advertisement and drove away. The deputy was able to catch up to the vehicle and tried to make a traffic stop, but the driver continued to speed away.
According to the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office, the 12-year-old accelerated to speeds over 70 mph, running stop signs and at times driving on the opposite side of the roads. Deputies attempted to stop the vehicle with spike strips but the boy was able to avoid them.
At one point just before 10:30 a.m. according to officials, the boy swerved at a sergeant that was putting spikes in place and nearly hitting him. As the boy swerved back toward the middle of the road, he ran over the spikes. This caused damage to a tire, leading to the mini-van stopping a mile away near Santa Fe Road and American Avenue, between Mendota and Tranquility.
Officials say deputies then contacted the driver and arrested him. He has been booked into Juvenile Hall on charges of auto theft, evading police, and assault with a deadly weapon. It was later learned that the boy was attempting to drive from Hanford to Sacramento where he used to live. No injuries were reported.
The 12-year-old has not been officially identified.