Officers from the Whitehall Police Department have been dealing with a rise in teenagers stealing vehicles over the past few months. This video was recently just published by the department.
On August 15, 2022, members of the Whitehall Police Department were looking for a stolen Hyundai Elantra that had evaded police from the neighboring Grove City earlier that day. Having spotted the vehicle at a nearby convenience stores, the officers waited until the teenagers were parked to approach. Once the vehicle was stopped in a parking spot, officers boxed the vehicle in its parking place, and attempted to make contact. As soon as the vehicle was boxed in, the teenage driver attempted to ram his way free of the police cruisers. This didn't work, prompting one of the officers to get out of his vehicle with his pistol drawn and pointed at the driver.
Once the officer was around the driver's side, the teenager attempted to ram free a second time, prompting a third cruiser to slam into the side of the vehicle pushing it into the car parked next to it and pinning it. From that point, officers were able to remove the keys from the ignition.
In a statement to local media, Deputy Chief Dan Kelso stated ""Unfortunately this has become all too common in Franklin County and the greater Columbus area. 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."
Not seen on camera, but reported later by officers involved, 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 teenagers is suspected in a string of motor vehicle thefts throughout the area.