3 teen police volunteers steal LAPD cars, stun guns

Bruno Cirelli
Giugno 21, 2017

During the investigation police checked the odometer of one of the patrol cars and found it had been driven more than 1,000 miles since it was last used for official business, the Los Angeles Times reported. CBS News reports that in their investigations, officials tracked down a third missing LAPD patrol vehicle, which was found parked close to the 77th Street police station.

Racing through the streets of South L.A.in a pair of stolen police cruisers, three teenage cadets led LAPD officers on auto chases that ended in separate crashes, Chief Charlie Beck said Thursday afternoon.

One of the vehicles that crashed was stolen from a parking garage at the Los Angeles Police Department's Central Division, according to two law enforcement sources familiar with the investigation.

Wednesday night's escapade ended with two cars crashing after pursuits.

An investigation later led police to the third missing patrol auto, parked near the department's 77th Street station, Beck said.

Beck says he's ordered a full review of the cadet program and the department's procedures for managing its cars and equipment.

"We're very proud of our cadet program and we don't want the actions of these three individuals to reflect negatively on the other 2,300" cadets, Beck said.

"And so we're going to look at this and look how they did it, and we're going to make sure it can't be replicated", he said.

The three were part of a programme for teenage volunteers who work in police stations and go through an academy to learn about the criminal justice system.

Investigators later reviewed surveillance video that showed a young woman with the vehicle at a petrol pump, he said.

Instead of learning from officers, Beck said, the cadets "may have been impersonating" police while driving the stolen cruisers in Central and South Los Angeles and Inglewood.

The teenagers behind the wheel refused to stop and led police on pursuits that ended with two separate crashes.

An "innocent bystander" sustained minor injuries when one of the cars crashed.

Beck said cadets are not allowed to drive patrol cars, and the teens had outsmarted the checkout system set in place to account for patrol vehicles.

The teenagers were booked on charges including stealing the police vehicles and theft of other property found inside the cars. Police said one of the cars went missing in late May.

Mr Beck said there was no indication any police officers were involved in the thefts.

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