14-year-old car thief leads police on short chase

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SALT LAKE CITY -- A high-speed chase overnight on State Route 201 ended with a crash and an arrest, but what surprised troopers more than anything about the chase was the person behind the wheel. When the chase finally came to an end, troopers found that the driver of the stolen vehicle was a 14-year-old boy.

A UHP trooper says he spotted the stolen vehicle the 14-year-old boy was driving near 2600 W. 500 South just before midnight Monday. He says he followed it until the vehicle got onto SR 201, then attempted to pull it over with back-up.

UHP trooper Steven Marble said, "There was at least four of us behind him, with lights and sirens."

Instead of stopping, the 14-year-old driver took off westbound on S.R. 201, headed right into the construction zone.

"We came down to one lane, that's where the driver of the stolen vehicle tried to pass a slower driver on the right shoulder," Marble said.

Troopers say the teen was traveling 90 miles per hour when he hit the dirt shoulder and lost control of vehicle. It then spun back into the road and then hit the jersey barrier before coming to a stop.

"He actually, if you can see here, knocked the barrier into the eastbound lanes," Marble said.

As motorists were slowing to avoid hitting the cement barriers bulging into eastbound traffic, a trooper headed to the scene was caught off guard by the braking lights. He ended up swerving off the road and going into a fence to avoid hitting another car.

Both the trooper and the 14-year-old driver ended up with only minor injuries.

Troopers say the teen is a suspected gang member and that the vehicle was stolen during a residential burglary earlier this week. They also say the teen is not being cooperative, and to make it more difficult, they say he is giving them a number of names.


Story compiled with contributions from Shara Park and Andrew Adams.

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