ANCHORAGE, Alaska—Anchorage police arrested an intoxicated 14-year-old boy Wednesday morning for stealing and damaging two vehicles in Mountain View that had been left running by their owners to warm up for winter driving.
APD spokesperson Lt. Dave Parker says the first of the two idling vehicles, a blue Dodge Stratus, was driven from the 200 block of McCarrey Street at 7:07 a.m. It was found disabled in a snow bank minutes later, a few blocks south at the intersection of East 3rd Avenue and Pine Street, at 7:16 a.m.
Tribeca, was taken at 7:41 a.m. from the 1000 block of Boniface Parkway. An APD officer driving a police cruiser saw the Tribeca being driven recklessly, headed west along East 6th Avenue near its intersection with Newell Street, and fell in behind it as a K-9 officer in another cruiser approached from the opposite direction.
The officers were able to halt the Tribeca using stopping and blocking techniques, which caused minor damage to all three vehicles but no injuries to their drivers. Parker says the boy fled on foot, but was taken into custody within two minutes at 7:48 a.m.
“Evidence at the scene and his statements linked him to the theft of the Dodge Stratus,” Parker said in a statement Wednesday.
Police arrested the boy on two counts each of vehicle theft and third-degree criminal mischief, as well as one count each of DUI and resisting an officer. He is being held without bail at McLaughlin Youth Center.
According to Parker it’s unlawful to leave a vehicle running on the street with keys in the ignition, even if the doors are locked. He says traffic officers have discretion in enforcing the law, but violations can produce $50 citations.
“Vehicles left running are easily stolen and often damaged by the thieves prior to their recovery,” Parker said.
Auto-start devices are legal because they allow cars to run, but shut them down if anyone attempts to drive without inserting keys in the ignition.