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Whitehall, Ohio — On August 15, 2022, shortly after 8:00pm, a Whitehall Police officer observed a 2018 blue Hyundai Elantra northbound on S Hamilton Rd. The vehicle was reported stolen from Grove City and had recently fled from Grove City police officers when they tried to stop it. Knowing the suspects were a flight risk and concerned for the safety of citizens, officers waited until the vehicle parked on the lot of Turkey Hill (721 S Hamilton Rd.). At that time, three (3) Whitehall Police cruisers blocked in the stolen car to prevent it from fleeing. The driver of the stolen car began ramming the police cruisers by driving back and forth, attempting to flee. The stolen vehicle also struck an uninvolved and unoccupied bystander’s car. A Whitehall cruiser was able to successfully pin the stolen car against the other car to stop the suspect from ramming officers. Four (4) juvenile suspects were taken into custody.
The driver of the stolen car was 16 years old and the three passengers were 15, 12, and 13. “Unfortunately this has become all too common in Franklin County and the greater Columbus area,” stated Deputy Chief Dan Kelso, “We struggle to balance the danger the juveniles create for our citizens while driving these stolen cars, with the danger and havoc they create when we try to take them into custody for their crimes. Furthermore, this comes at a time when we as police experience the same supply chain issues as everyone else when we have to fix our cruisers.” When pulled from the stolen car, the driver was smiling and laughing. “It seems these juveniles are not concerned with the ramifications to their actions and they think this is funny,” stated Chief Mike Crispen. This same group of juveniles is suspected of stealing another car earlier the same day. The investigation is ongoing.
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