A Jacksonville mother of one of the teens accused of stealing a Kia that caught fire Wednesday says her son’s arrest was the best thing to happen to him.
Surveillance footage shows different angles of the tense moment when a stolen Kia sedan crashed by multiple juveniles at a gas station in New Town.
The car’s owner said she woke up Wednesday and realized her car was gone. It wasn’t until JSO called her and said the car was destroyed during a chase with juveniles that she learned what happened to it.
The woman said she does not have a push-button starter and that police told her the suspects used some kind of device to start the car and take off.
In a video, the car is seen crashing into the end of a retention pond at the station. Then, two JSO patrol units that were chasing the stolen car come into view.
That’s when seven people, who police said ranged from 9 to 14 years old, get out of the car and take off running in different directions as officers chased after them.
Other surveillance angles show the officers taking the juveniles into custody. One of the juveniles ran into the store, where the clerk kept him there and called his parents before police arrested him.
The car’s owner said she was upset to learn what happened to her car and even more frustrated that the alleged thieves were kids.
“What are the parents doing? The kids are nine to 14. That’s all I have to say. What are you all doing with your kids,” the owner said.
The mother of a 14-year-old said this was the best thing to happen to him because he’s been hanging with the wrong crowd and that she did her best to raise him.
She hopes he learned a lesson by being handcuffed and hauled to jail. She still realizes the severity of what could have happened and is thankful that her son is alive.
One of the kids was injured and taken to the hospital following the pursuit.