Watch Police Pursue 12-Year-Old Carjacker In A Stolen Construction Forklift

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Construction Forklift
Photo Credit: "Hyster 12-6 12T forklift" by Asylumkid is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/?ref=openverse.

A 12-year-old was taken into custody after allegedly stealing a construction forklift over Thanksgiving weekend and leading police in a low speed pursuit for an hour in Michigan.

The wayward tween clearly had trouble handling the 35,000 pound vehicle and managed to hit 10 vehicles during the chase, according to the Ann Arbor Police Department.

The incident occurred at Forsyth Middle School in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where the child is likely a student.

How did a 12-year-old steal a construction forklift?

Police revealed that the child gained access to the unlocked forklift, which had been parked at the School. The keys to the forklift were reportedly hidden within the cab, though it remains unknown how the young carjacker was able to find them.

According to a statement released by the police on Monday, officers responded to reports of a youth attempting to steal a Genie GTH-636 Telehandler forklift vehicle at around 6:45 p.m. on Saturday.

Shortly after, the forklift, which had no lights on, was seen heading south away from the school, leading the police to engage in a low speed chase.

Ann Arbor police, going at speeds between 15 to 20 mph, attempted to stop the stolen forklift as it passed through the Georgetown Boulevard neighborhood.

During the pursuit, the forklift hit around 10 parked vehicles in the neighborhood, causing significant damage.

Construction forklift chase lasts an hour

At around 7:20 p.m., the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office were tagged in and took over the chase from the Ann Arbor Police.

The deputies followed the forklift until it came to a stop at 7:53 p.m. and arrested the tween joyrider.

Ann Arbor Public Schools spokesperson, Andrew Cluley, said that the forklift, which does not belong to the district, was parked at the school due to renovation work that had commenced at the middle school during the summer of 2022 and is expected to conclude in the spring of next year.

Authorities continue to conduct a thorough investigation into the matter, labeling it as a “criminal” act.

“This was a very dangerous situation that could’ve easily ended with serious injuries,” the police said in a statement on Facebook.

The youth, whose name has not been released, was booked at the Washtenaw County Youth Center, and was lucky to not have injured anyone during the low speed chase.

Low speed construction forklift chases happen more than you would expect

Construction forklift are apparently a hot commodity to bumbling carjackers, who clearly don’t stop to consider how they’ll get away in the slow moving vehicles.

In September, the Macon County sheriff’s office was led on a 90-minute pursuit after a very slow moving forklift in central Illinois.

The construction forklift was chased at a snail’s pace from Warrensburg to Decatur in the hour and a half that it took to travel ten miles.

Finally, the 41-year-old male suspect gave up and pulled over in the parking lot of a Caterpillar plant, where he was taken into police custody.

He was charged with multiple traffic violations, along with aggravated fleeing and eluding law enforcement authorities.

Macon County Sheriff Jim Root said he had never experienced an incident like it, adding that the low speed construction forklift pursuit was “one for the record books.”

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