Van driven by 12-year-old among stolen vehicles recovered in Pierce County

PIERCE COUNTY, Wash. — The Puget Sound Auto Theft Task Force recovered 15 stolen vehicles on Friday, including a van driven by a 12-year-old who was armed with a handgun.

The vehicles were recovered during an auto theft emphasis operation in Pierce County involving several agencies.

Six people were arrested.

Some of the highlights of the emphasis operation include:

A 2008 Chrysler Town & Country was stolen during a carjacking in Pierce County. The vehicle was pulled over during a traffic stop and six juveniles were detained. Investigators said the 12-year-old driver had a .45-caliber handgun. The driver was booked into Remann Hall and the other juveniles were released to their parents.

A 2011 Chevrolet Camaro was stolen during a home burglary in Pierce County. The Camaro was found at the Monterra Apartments in Parkland. Police tried to arrest the driver, but he ran away. He was eventually taken into custody.

An unlicensed 1997 Honda CRV was spotted at the Home Depot in south Tacoma. Tacoma police officers tried to pull the SUV over, but the driver refused to stop and officers could not chase the vehicle due to police accountability laws.

Pierce County Sheriff’s Department and Washington State Patrol airplanes followed the Honda throughout Pierce County. When the driver tried to cross over railroad tracks, one of the Honda’s wheels was bent and the SUV became stuck.

The driver and passenger tried to run away, but were quickly taken into custody.

Police said the female passenger had a bag with her containing about 1,000 suspected fentanyl pills.

It was later determined that the Honda had been stolen but had not yet been reported to police.