Boy Says He Stole More Than 50 Cars

Friday, July 21st 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

MIAMI (AP) — A 12-year-old boy with a fondness for Honda Accords told detectives he's stolen more than 50 cars over the last several years. The detectives are inclined to believe him.

The Broward County Sheriff's Office has confirmed the boy's involvement in 16 thefts and is trying to verify the others.

``He can break into a Honda Accord and start it up faster than you or I can unlock the door with a key,'' spokesman Kirk Englehardt said Thursday. ``At 12 years old, its surprising, but he's an expert car thief.''

The boy, who was not identified because of his age, was arrested July 14 after sheriff's officials identified his fingerprints on a white Honda Accord broken into two days earlier in Dania Beach, just south of Fort Lauderdale. He already had a police record stretching back three years.

He was charged with burglary and attempted grand theft, and during questioning, he confessed to at least 50 more car thefts or burglaries in the area, Englehardt said.

``So far, all of the information he has provided has been accurate,'' Englehardt said.

Although four years from the legal driving age, the boy is 5 foot 7 inches tall and can apparently operate the cars, he said.

A phone message left Thursday at the home of the boy's mother was not immediately returned.

Following his arrest, the boy rode with detectives, pointing out supermarkets, apartment buildings and other areas he said he had targeted.

``We're not used to getting that kind of assistance from somebody who's been charged with a crime,'' Englehardt said.

The boy was first arrested in 1997, at age 9, for alleged shoplifting. He has been arrested 10 times since on charges including vehicle theft and burglary.