Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Public safety

Hot Wheels: Kids are driving Pinellas County's car-theft epidemic. It's a dangerous, sometimes deadly, game.

A real life game of Grand Theft Auto is playing out across Pinellas County.

Kids as young as 10, barely able to see over the steering wheel, are driving cars past 100 mph into oncoming traffic, trees, light poles and homes.

In 2015, police in Pinellas made 499 arrests for juvenile auto theft — more than anywhere else in the state. But kids here don't fear getting caught. They call it "car-hopping" and use their stolen wheels to go "joyriding."

It's dangerous — and sometimes deadly.

Read the special report

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