ANN HARBOR, MI – A 12-year-old boy from Ann Harbor, Michigan, led law enforcement on an hour-long chase after stealing a construction Genie GTH-636 Telehandler forklift truck from Forsyth Middle School, law enforcement officials said on Monday. Due to his age, the identity of the boy has been withheld.
The call about a possible theft in progress at Forsyth Middle School reached the Ann Harbor Police Department around 6:48 p.m. on Saturday. When officers responded, they encountered the young suspect driving the heavy-duty vehicle, which can weigh up to 35,000 lbs., without headlights on.
In a pursuit that exceeded up to 20 mph, the boy careened through the Georgetown Boulevard neighborhood, damaging approximately ten parked vehicles. After following the boy for half an hour, the Ann Harbor Police Department ceased the chase as the boy crossed the M-14 bridge. The Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office picked up the pursuit, which culminated when the boy eventually halted approximately in the M-14 and Gotfredson area at 7:53 p.m.
Dash-cam footage released by the police shows the forklift moving at moderate speed in a residential zone with a chasing police car blaring sirens. An officer is heard commenting on his unsuccessful attempts to halt the youngster.
Authorities confirmed no injuries resulted from the precarious pursuit. The minor had managed to access the forklift using keys left within the vehicle. After the chase concluded, he was taken into custody and then transferred to a juvenile detention center.
Ann Harbor Police Department described the event as a potentially hazardous situation that could have resulted in serious injuries. The incident is currently under criminal investigation.