Police Chase Down Suspected Car Thief At Speeds Up To 100MPH, Find 13-Year-Old Boy Behind The Wheel

Black Police SUV with flashing lights driving at high speed.
Gundy Wongthai / Shutterstock

In a tweet shared Monday by West Yorkshire Officer Benjamin Pearson, it was reported that police chased down a stolen Volkswagen Golf vehicle. Apparently, the vehicle was stolen in Shipley, a small suburb of West Yorkshire, England. It was a high-speed chase, reaching 100 m.p.h., according to Officer Pearson. Police were reportedly able to finally stop the vehicle, after chasing it for five miles, by using road spikes to bring it to a stop. Pearson’s tweet displayed a picture of the black vehicle stopped on the side of a well-lit road at night, with a police cruiser parked a few feet behind. The license plate of the vehicle in question is blurred in the photo.

The tweet was concluded with the news that two males were arrested in the altercation, and a report that the driver was only 13 years old. According to BBC, drivers in England must be 17 years old in order to receive their license. Furthermore, a study in 2011 found that more than one-fifth of vehicle deaths in the country were attributed to drivers ages 17-24. A Department for Transportation spokesman specified that “young drivers drive around 5% of all the miles driven in Britain but are involved in about 20% of the crashes where someone is killed or seriously injured.”

With the death rates of licensed age-appropriate drivers so high, it’s mindblowing that a 13-year-old was caught driving at such high speeds, and that no harm has yet been reported. However, the incident is not as unique as it may seem. The Telegraph reported in February that a 13-year-old was caught driving a vehicle for a short distance in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire. In the vehicle with the boy were two adults and a toddler who was not restrained in a car seat. When questioned about the event, one of the adults said, “it’s only a short journey.”

It’s happened in the U.S. too. In an eerily similar chain of events, a 13-year-old was chased by police at speeds of 100 m.p.h. in Houston earlier this year, said Dallas News. In May, police chased a boy from Northeast Houston to its downtown area after catching him driving 60 m.p.h. in a 35 m.p.h. speed zone. The pursuit concluded when the boy crashed the vehicle, causing the officer to also crash into another car. Reportedly, the injured officer and child were hospitalized for minor injuries, and the boy faced felony charges for his offense.

As for the latest incident, Officer Pearson commented in his tweet that Police Interceptors, a British show on Channel 5 which documents high-speed chases, will offer more coverage in mid-October.