Unusual Police Chase: Boy Steals Forklift

ANN HARBOR, MI – A pre-teen from Ann Harbor, Michigan, found himself in hot water after he commandeered a construction forklift and led police on an hour-long chase. According to law enforcement officials, the 12-year-old boy, whose identity remains undisclosed due to his age, reportedly stole the Genie GTH-636 Telehandler forklift truck from Forsyth Middle School.

The Ann Harbor Police Department received a call regarding a potential theft at the middle school around 6:48 p.m. on Saturday. Upon arrival, officers were met with the surprising sight of the young boy operating the massive vehicle, which can weigh as much as 35,000 lbs., in the dark without the use of headlights.

The ensuing chase saw the boy navigate the forklift through the Georgetown Boulevard neighborhood at speeds reaching up to 20 mph, resulting in damage to roughly ten parked cars. After a half-hour pursuit, Ann Harbor Police discontinued the chase as the boy crossed the M-14 bridge, at which point the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office took over. The pursuit finally came to an end in the vicinity of M-14 and Gotfredson when the boy halted the forklift at 7:53 p.m.

Police dash-cam footage of the chase shows the forklift moving at a moderate pace through a residential area, trailed by a police car with sirens wailing. An officer can be heard on the footage expressing frustration at his inability to stop the young driver.

Despite the potential for disaster, no injuries were reported as a result of the chase. The boy was able to gain access to the forklift due to keys being left inside the vehicle. Following the conclusion of the chase, the boy was taken into custody and subsequently transferred to a juvenile detention center.

The Ann Harbor Police Department characterized the event as a potentially dangerous situation with the potential for serious injuries. An ongoing criminal investigation into the incident is currently underway.