Grandkid Theft Auto? Kids Steal 46 Audis, Fords, Subarus, and More From Dealerships
$1.1 million worth of cars snatched by a crew of 19 kids in North Carolina.
Stealing candy from a baby is easy—apparently, so is stealing cars from dealerships in North Carolina. On April Fool's Day, Mekeal Stewart Binns, 19, was busted for speeding to elude arrest, resisting arrest, and for being in possession of a stolen motor vehicle. He is the only "adult" local detectives say was involved in a juvenile car-theft crew that has nabbed 46 vehicles worth more than a million dollars, and therefore the only one of the bunch who can be arrested.
Yes, that means detectives know who beyond Binns was involved in the grand theft auto scheme, and have identified 19 teens, tweens, and kiddos as young as nine years old who are allegedly involved in a wave of auto dealership heists in the Winston-Salem and Kernersville area. "Detectives have sought, and thus far have been denied, secure custody orders from the Forsyth County Department of Juvenile Justice for the involved juveniles," states a release by Winston-Salem Police.
"Detectives are working to investigate these crimes and to prevent future thefts. Authorities are working with local dealerships to better secure their facilities and to initiate steps to prevent thieves from obtaining vehicle keys; if they succeed in gaining entry into the dealership," the release continues.
The gang of youths had been pinching vehicles at Audi, Chevrolet, Ford, Honda, Subaru, Toyota, and Volvo dealerships since St. Patrick's Day. The Charlotte Observer reports the kiddie crew completed 20 heists and all but six of the 46 that were taken have been recovered.
"Some of the children are repeat offenders and have stolen multiple cars," Lt. Amy Gaudin of the Winston-Salem Police Department tells the Winston-Salem Journal. "Many were going for joyrides, probably out of boredom from being out of school."
The thieves stole keys for new cars being serviced and several of the dealerships were hit multiple times. Because the alleged criminals are under the age of 18, their names will not be released to the public. So, well, if you see some kids who seem entirely too young to be driving a car speeding around Forsyth County, be sure to call 911.