One Florida county leads in juvenile auto theft statistics

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) - A real life game of Grand Theft Auto is playing out across one Florida County.

Kids as young as 10, barely able to see over the steering wheel, are driving cars past 100 mph into oncoming traffic, trees, light poles and homes.

The Tampa Bay Times revealed that in in 2015, police in Pinellas County made 499 arrests for juvenile auto theft - more than anywhere else in the state.

The danger has prompted Pinellas law enforcement agencies to devote dozens of officers, a fleet of helicopters and highly trained dogs to catching young car thieves.

In nearly every other county in Florida, most people arrested for auto theft are adults. But in Pinellas County, 62 percent are younger than 18.

© 2017 Associated Press


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