Detroit carjacking rise includes suspect trio as young as 11, police say
DETROIT (FOX 2) - Detroit carjackings are up 40 percent compared to last year - and the ages of the kids doing them – have become unbelievable. On Monday, an 11-, 12-, and 14-year-old were arrested carjacking cars right off the lot at the Jefferson North Lot.
"They think it's fun and there is no penalty to it," said Lt. Clive Stewart, DPD.
Stewart, the head of the Detroit Police Commercial Auto Theft Unit, said he is stunned over the trio of kids, arrested Monday on the storage lot of the Jefferson North Plant.
"Doing this as long as I've been doing this, 11 is the youngest," he said.
The kids were intercepted by officers from the 5th Precinct, right across Conner. They were apparently trying to take $80,000 and $90,000 Dodge Hellcat Chargers and Challengers.
"To me in my mind, I would think somebody a little older got these kids out here and are putting in orders," Stewart said.
Meaning – they’re likely working for adults, who use the kids knowing the punishments aren’t as steep if they’re arrested.
"The older offenders know, ‘I can do this and not really have my hands on it because I didn't really steal the car,’" Stewart added.
And in a separate incident, a 14-year-old alleged repeat carjacker was arrested this weekend. He was out on bond from a carjacking in May, then last week police say he jacked two cars on the city’s east side.
"Here we are a couple of months later, we are dealing with the same juvenile once again," he said.
The lieutenant says he is likely linked to several other armed robberies during his time on bond as a middle-schooler. It was Crime Stoppers tips that got him caught this time.
Detroit police are going full force trying to get these carjackings down.
"I definitely see that we are moving in the right direction," Stewart said. "We are gaining traction. It's a little slow but we are gaining traction."