Seven juveniles were taken into JSO custody in connection with a police pursuit involving a stolen red Kia last week. The police report says the Kia was involved in a robbery the same day it was stolen.
The 2019 Kia sedan that was stolen from a Westside home ended up on fire in a ditch next to a New Town gas station following a suspect chase involving the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.
The car owner said she woke up Wednesday morning, August 2, and realized her car was gone. She looked at the surveillance video and saw it was parked at her home up until 8:30 a.m. That afternoon, she got a call from JSO who told her that her car was destroyed during a chase with suspects.
She said police told her multiple suspects were involved and ranged in age from 9 to 14 years old. The driver, a 14-year-old, was taken into custody and charged with several crimes including carrying a concealed firearm, aggravated fleeing and eluding and resisting without violence.
One of the seven juveniles was taken to a hospital, but is expected to be okay. According to the police report, charges are pending for him due to his age. The other six face charges of trespassing and resisting without violence, with the driver facing even more charges.
The owner of the car 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.
JSO said multiple Kia cars have been reported stolen within recent days. Half the number of cars reported stolen two weeks ago in Jacksonville were made by Hyundai and Kia, JSO said. Both automakers have mailed letters to owners, letting them know that if they have a key ignition start instead of a push button start, their vehicle is at risk of being stolen. Both automakers are offering free installations of software that prevents the vehicles from starting if they are broken into.