Some kids were just nine years old.
We get it. Coronavirus lockdowns and quarantines are tough, and it’s a challenge for parents as well. Children who are usually at school are now home, or at least, they’re supposed to be home. Apparently, 19 kids – some as young as 9 years old – allegedly spent the last few weeks running around a North Carolina city stealing cars. We’re not talking about a joyride or two either; these misguided youths went full Gone In 60 Seconds, nabbing upwards of 50 cars worth over $1 million.
The crime spree took place in and around Winston-Salem, affecting 18 dealerships according to a report from WFMY News. The first thefts were reported on March 17, but unlike the Nicholas Cage remake of the classic Gone film, this wasn’t a single-night boost. The spree stretched out for approximately a month, with the report listing primarily new car dealerships as being targeted. Lexus, Audi, and Infiniti dealers were among those hit; 46 cars were stolen and the estimated cost of the vehicles is set at $1.1 million. As of this article posting on May 5, all but six of the vehicles were recovered.
As for the perpetrators, there’s still some mystery surrounding it all. Multiple reports from news outlets in the area list 19 children ranging from ages 9 to 16 as being part of this stolen car ring. However, seven children were located and of those, four were taken into custody. Three children had charges that didn’t call for an arrest, and apparently, police were already familiar with some of the pint-sized criminals involved in the spree. As for the other 12 children allegedly involved, an investigation is ongoing and charges could be brought against parents that might include jail time.
One adult – 19-year-old Stewart Binns – was arrested in connection to the crime for being in possession of a stolen car. His role in the thefts beyond that is unknown.