Yesterday around 7:00AM Chandler Police received a call from a parent reporting that their 14-year-old son had stolen their vehicle along with an inoperable rifle. They indicated their son was a runaway and that he was having “14-year-old” issues with his father.
Chandler Police Officers, using cellular phone data were able to locate the area the stolen vehicle was in. Separate and independent of the Chandler Police investigation, a Trooper with the Arizona Department of Public Safety had checked the plate of the truck and ultimately learned that it was reported as a stolen vehicle. The Trooper, working with the Chandler Officer, was able to determine that the vehicle was now in the area of Saguaro High School in Scottsdale. The Trooper and members of the AZ DPS Auto Theft Taskforce located the suspect in the parking lot of the school. DPS Troopers contacted the juvenile and took him into custody for possession of the stolen vehicle. Inside the vehicle they recovered a semi-automatic rifle and ammunition.
Through further investigation it was determined the juvenile was upset with his parents and decided to run away. He made no threats towards the public and had not posted or mentioned any threats prior to contact whatsoever.
This case is an example of how law enforcement agencies are able to work together, using new technologies to locate stolen vehicles and catch car thieves in the act.