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Published: Saturday, 9/13/2003

13-year-old car thief is caught after chase

A 13-year-old led police on a chase in a stolen sport-utility vehicle yesterday from West Toledo to the downtown area, where he rammed an officer's car before being arrested.

The boy, who is from Toledo but whose name was not released, was being treated last night at St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center, police said.

He was expected to be charged with delinquency in connection with grand theft-auto, felony fleeing and eluding, and felonious assault on a police officer upon his release from the hospital, Detective Ashley Nichols said.

The victim of the carjacking, a 67-year-old South Toledo man whose name was not released, left his keys in the ignition of his Chevy Blazer about 6 p.m. while getting gas at Hill Avenue and Wenz Road when the suspect and a 15-year-old girl jumped into the vehicle and started to speed away.

The victim grabbed at the door but failed to hold on, letting go as the suspect drove off. No weapon was seen, Sgt. D.E. Bonner said.

The 13-year-old dropped the 15-year-old off at an undisclosed location just before the chase started when a police patrol unit spotted the suspect driving the vehicle near West Bancroft Street and Parkside Boulevard.

Police ordered him to stop and, after he refused, officers followed the vehicle at speeds that likely did not exceed 50 mph via Ottawa Drive, Upton Avenue, South Cove Boulevard, Monroe Street, Delaware Avenue, Albion Street, Central Avenue, Detroit Avenue, and Cherry Street, police said.

He then rammed a police car as it blocked his way near the Buckeye Basin Greenbelt Parkway and lost a front wheel. He continued on Cherry to Summit Street and turned onto Ash Street, where at least two police cars, which tried to box him in, sustained light front-end damage.

At that point, the youth failed to round a curve and the SUV jumped a curb, lost the other front wheel, and crashed in the grassy area off the left side of the road.

The suspect tried to flee but was taken into custody before he could leave the vehicle, the sergeant said.

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