Kids as young as 12 are stealing cars in Green Bay

By  | 

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) -- They're not old enough to have a driver's license, but kids as young as 12-years-old have been busted for stealing cars in Green Bay.

The thefts happen in broad daylight. Some happen in the middle of the night. Stolen car cases span the entire city.

"We've had 28 stolen vehicles so far this year," said Commander Paul Ebel, Green Bay Police Department.

Many of the cases share a common theme.

"People are leaving their keys in the car, or they're starting their car and leaving their doors unlocked with the keys in the car," Ebel said.

Green Bay Police describe those 17 cases as crimes of opportunity. Car owners are making it too easy for thieves to take advantage.

Thieves can take the cars on rides across town. One vehicle was stolen, recovered and stolen again before the owner could get to it.

"They're using them to get where they need to go, and then they dump them," Ebel said.

Detectives don't believe there's an organized crew behind the thefts. They do know juveniles are responsible for several of the crimes.

In one case, a 12-year-old made it to Milwaukee and Madison in a stolen vehicle.

"He's been reported as a runaway, and we found him in Milwaukee one time and Madison another time," Ebel said.

He's not the only the only juvenile suspect. In an unrelated case, another kid stole a car with a group of friends.

"Somebody had their car warming up and some students were skipping school and came across it and hopped in," Ebel said.

Ebel says that led to a short police chase. Officers stopped the vehicle and found kids under age 16 inside.

"It's extremely dangerous because they don't have the driving skills that somebody else would, and they're fleeing from police," Ebel said. "It's a very dangerous situation that could cause the loss of life."

Police have referred the young suspects to juvenile intake.

"We do process a lot of them for prints, so hopefully as some of these kids get older and we have them on file for fingerprints, we'll be able to go back and hold them accountable," Ebel said.

The comment sections of our web set are designed for thoughtful, intelligent conversation and debate. We want to hear from the viewers but we are not obligated to post comments we feel inappropriate or violate our guidelines. Here are some of the criteria you should follow when posting comments:

Comments cannot be profane or vulgar. Children and families visit this site. We will delete comments that use profanity or cross the lines of good taste.

We will delete all comments using hate speech. Slurs, stereotypes and violent talk aren’t welcome on our web site.

Comments should not attack other readers personally.

We will delete comments we deem offensive, in bad taste, or out of bounds. We are not obligated to post comments that are rude or insensitive.

We do not edit user-submitted comments.

As a host WEAU 13 News welcomes a wide spectrum of opinions. However, we have a responsibility to all our readers to try to keep our comment section fair and decent. For that reason WEAU 13 News reserves the right to not post or to remove any comment.
powered by Disqus