Child driving stolen construction forklift leads Ann Arbor police on chase

A 12-year-old boy driving a stolen construction vehicle led police in Michigan on an hourlong chase, striking about 10 parked vehicles in the process, the Ann Arbor Police Department said.

The vehicle, a Construction Genie GTH-636 Telehandler — equipped with a forklift and weighing up to 35,000 pounds — was stolen from outside Forsythe Middle School using a key found in the cab, police said.

“This was a very dangerous situation that could’ve easily ended with serious injuries,” police said in a statement. ‘The incident remains an active and ongoing criminal investigation.”

Officers responded to Forsyth Middle School for a report of a juvenile attempting to steal a construction vehicle on Nov. 25, 2023.Officers responded to Forsythe Middle School in Ann Arbor, Mich., on Saturday for a report of a juvenile attempting to steal a construction vehicle.Ann Arbor Police

Police were first called to the school around 6:45 p.m. and later found the boy driving down a street without the vehicle’s headlights on. With emergency lights on and sirens blaring, multiple officers pursued the vehicle at 15 to 20 mph through the Georgetown Boulevard neighborhood, police said.

Nobody was injured, the police department said.

In a video of the pursuit shared by the department, Ann Arbor police can be heard saying, “He’s lowering the hooks — don’t go in front of” the forklift.

Police stopped the pursuit around 7:20 p.m. when the child left city limits via the M-14 bridge. The Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office picked up the pursuit until just before 8 p.m., when the child stopped driving.

The boy, whose identity was not released because he is a minor, was taken into custody Saturday night and put in a juvenile detention center.

Natalie Kainz

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Natalie Kainz is a news associate for NBC News.