12-Year-Old Steals Forklift, Leads Police on Hour-Long Chase

ANN ARBOR, MI – A 12-year-old boy from Ann Arbor, Michigan, has been taken into custody after he commandeered a forklift and led police on a chase that lasted for an hour. The boy had stolen a heavy-duty Construction Genie GTH-636 Telehandler from Forsyth Middle School, according to a press release from the Ann Arbor Police Department.

Upon receiving a call about an attempted theft of the vehicle, police officers found the boy driving the forklift, which can weigh up to 35,000 lbs., in the dark. The chase ensued at 15 to 20 mph speeds, with the boy navigating through the Georgetown Boulevard neighborhood and hitting approximately ten parked vehicles in the process.

After about half an hour, the police ceased their pursuit as the boy crossed the M-14 bridge. Deputies from the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office then took over the chase, which ended around 7:53 p.m. near M-14 and Gotfredson.

Despite the potentially dangerous situation, no injuries were reported during the chase. A dashcam video released by the police shows the forklift being driven at a moderate speed through a residential area with a police car trailing behind.

According to the police department, the boy had found keys hidden inside the forklift’s cab, which he used to start the vehicle. After the chase, he was apprehended and placed in a juvenile detention center. The police department stressed the seriousness of the situation, noting, “This was a hazardous situation that could’ve easily ended with serious injuries.”

A criminal investigation into the incident is currently underway. The Ann Arbor Police Department still needs to provide further details.

Earlier this month, staff at Arlington Auto & Truck Wrecking in Akron, Ohio, delivered a unique brand of justice to a would-be thief. This high-flying drama unfolded when a forklift operator at the auto yard caught a man red-handed inside one of their SUVs. In an audacious move, the operator swiftly used the forklift to hoist the vehicle, with the suspect inside, a staggering 20 feet into the air, effectively trapping him until the police arrived.

This incident is not just a story of crime and punishment but a testament to businesses’ ongoing struggle against theft and vandalism. Arlington Auto & Truck Wrecking has been battling against thieves targeting valuable car parts like catalytic converters and windows. When the staff discovered the intruder, identified as 26-year-old Alexander Funk, unconscious in the backseat of a vehicle, they decided enough was enough. Seizing the moment, the forklift driver expertly maneuvered the car into the air, rendering the suspect immobile and unable to flee.

The scene that followed could have been straight out of a Hollywood script. The staff made an unforgettable call to the emergency services, detailing their high-altitude detainment of the suspect. The 911 operator, upon hearing of the situation, couldn’t help but express amusement and admiration at the staff’s ingenuity. The Akron Police Department, responding to the call, arrived to find the suspect still suspended in the air. Body camera footage captured the moment the police apprehended Funk at gunpoint after he was lowered to the ground.

This wasn’t Funk’s first encounter with the law or with Arlington Auto & Truck Wrecking. He had a history of trespassing, drug abuse, and entering condemned buildings. Remarkably, the staff had caught him twice before at the exact location. He received a warning the first time, and he managed to escape the second time. This time, however, his luck had run out. Upon his arrest, police found tools on him, including a sawzall cutting tool and blades, which he admitted were intended for stealing copper.