NILES, Ohio (WKBN) – A 12-year-old Niles boy is in trouble with the law again after police say he stole an employee’s SUV from the parking lot outside the fenced-in area of Pantalone’s Towing and took off.
“We were all standing outside too and it just flew out of the parking lot,” a 911 caller said.
Officers say the child crashed into a mailbox and a parked semi near the intersection of Route 46 and McKees Lane.
Police body camera video shows the moments after the crash, and the owner of the SUV speaking with responding officers.
“I thought one of the guys were messing, getting ready to move my truck around. All of a sudden it starts going forward. I’m like, ‘Wait a minute,'” the SUV owner said.
The Ford Explorer is now totaled. Its front tire is flat and the hood is covered with scratches and is bent in.
“This has gone a little bit off the rails now where he’s allegedly stealing cars,” said Niles Police Capt. John Marshall.
At the time of his arrest, the boy was wearing an ankle monitor. Police say they’ve dealt with him quite a few times and he’d already spent time at the juvenile detention center earlier this month.
“I don’t see anything getting better if some intervention process doesn’t interrupt the course of action,” Marshall said.
The boy also had a second set of keys in his pocket that were for another vehicle in the Pantalone’s parking lot, according to a police report.
Police say the child is lucky he didn’t seriously hurt himself or anyone else.
“Especially in the area that the crash occurred and at the time of day of the crash occurred, it’s usually very heavily traveled there,” Marshall said.
The incident happened around 3:30 p.m. Wednesday.