Copyright 2003 Southeastern Newspapers Corporation
The Augusta Chronicle (Georgia)
March 26, 2003 Wednesday, ALL EDITIONS
Richmond County sheriff's Investigator Jeff Johnson knew something looked out of place - and it wasn't just the driver's youthful face.
Wide turns and screeching tires attracted his attention to the 12-year-old boy, who was struggling behind the wheel of a stolen car Monday afternoon at the Cherry Tree Crossing housing complex, the investigator said.
"Things just didn't look right," sheriff's Lt. Jimmy Young said.
The boy jumped from the driver's seat and ran when Investigator Johnson activated his car's blue lights. A brief foot chase ended with his capture, Lt. Young said.
The youth, who stands 5 feet 5 inches tall, told police he attends Murphey Middle School.
The 1985 Chevrolet Cavalier had been stolen from an Augusta woman. Fannie Haynes, 75, told police she discovered the vehicle missing Saturday morning from outside her home on Koger Road.
"It's crazy," Mrs. Haynes said Tuesday. "I mean, to have that kind of nerve. That's something else."
The boy said a teenager handed him the car keys and said he would beat up the boy if he didn't drive around the corner. Police didn't believe him and charged him with theft by receiving stolen property.
Because of his age, the youth was released to his mother pending a hearing in juvenile court.
Mrs. Haynes got her car back Monday night with the window shattered. Police say that's probably how the thief got inside.