PSLPD: 12-Year-Old Boy Confesses to Auto Theft Crime Spree Targeting Kias and Hyundais
Port St. Lucie - Friday December 1, 2023: Port St. Lucie Police (PSLPD) detectives have charged a 12-year-old boy with 8 counts of attempted grand theft of a motor vehicle, 3 counts of grand theft of a motor vehicle and 8 counts of criminal mischief.
Detectives originally arrested the boy on November 7th on four auto theft counts that occurred from October 5th and November 7th. The child confessed to those thefts, but he was released from the St. Lucie Regional Detention Center. PSLPD PIO Senior Sergeant Dominick Mesiti explained that the Department of Juvenile Justice has a point system which governs whether or not a juvenile is detained, released, or released under supervision. The boy was released because his actions didn't amount to enough points to meet the required criteria necessary for a juvenile to be held in detention.
However, the next day, on November 8th, PSLPD Officers patrolling the western region responded to a 911 call about an attempted vehicle burglary. They arrested the same child again for loitering and prowling. He was taken to the St. Lucie Regional Detention Center again, but again released because he still didn't qualify for detention.
Then again, from November 9th to November 28th, PSLPD continued to receive several reports of auto thefts and attempted auto thefts targeting unlocked Kias and Hyundais.
Sergeant Mesiti reports that when detectives reviewed the 12-year-old's original confession for the initial 4 auto thefts, they were able to establish probable cause to arrest him again on two additional attempted auto thefts on November 30th. During this second interrogation, the boy confessed to these additional crimes.
The boy was was again taken back to the St. Lucie Regional Juvenile Detention Center and confined this time because he had finally earned enough points to meet the requirements for detention.
In all between October 5th and November 28th PSLPD received 7 reports of auto thefts and 8 reports of attempted auto thefts in the western region of Port St. Lucie.
The crimes primarily occurred during the overnight hours and the suspect was specifically targeting certain models of Kias and Hyundais that were left unlocked.
The auto thefts and attempted auto thefts occurred in the 1400 block of SW Hackensack Ave., the 4200 block of SW Hagaplan St., the 4100 block of SW Rardin St., the 1500 block of SW Hackensack Ave., the 1400 block of SW Gadsan Ave., the 4100 block of SW Batavia St., the 1500 block of SW Falmouth Ave., the 1500 block of SW Gager Rd., the 1200 block of SW Amboy Ave., the 1300 block of SW Ingrassina Ave., and the 1300 block of SW Bartell Ave.
The investigation is continuing said Sergeant Mesiti.