Three 14-year-old Palm Coast boys were arrested early Monday morning at Holland Park and charged with grand theft auto, a felony, after they admitted to stealing a car from a Cole Place driveway. The owner of the car had left the key in the glovebox.
The arrest took place after 3:30 in the morning Monday. The boys had been walking in the C Section when they found the unlocked 2010 Toyota Corolla. Possibly looking for something else worth taking, they found the ignition key, and decided to take the car for a spin. Driving around, they saw a Flagler County Sheriff’s deputy patrol car actively patrolling in the Island Walk shopping center.
They thought it best to drive into Holland Park to avoid detection, according to their arrest report. But that was precisely what may have triggered their detection: people don’t generally go into the park at 3 o’clock in the morning. Deputies followed, spotted the boys, and asked them why they were there and how, at 14, they came into driving possession of the Toyota, and who was its owner. The boys could not answer. A tag check enabled deputies to contact the owners, who discovered that the car was no longer in their driveway. They had not reported it stolen since they didn’t know until then that it had been stolen. They’d parked it there at 7 p.m. the previous evening, though they couldn’t remember if they’d locked it. One of the owners then recalled having a valet key in the glove box.
“This is a great example of deputies observing suspicious activity and investigating,” Sheriff Rick Staly said. “A deputy saw a suspicious car, investigated it, and the result is a stolen car being returned to a resident before they even realized it was stolen. I hope these three juveniles learn from this
experience and can turn their lives around. To our residents, I would like to remind them to please take all your valuables and keys out of your vehicles, lock your car doors and help prevent crime so you don’t become a victim. To parents, know where your children are and what they are doing, especially
late at night and in the early morning hours. Be the Sheriff in your home.”
The three 14 year olds were processed at the county jail on behalf of the Department of Juvenile Justice, which ordered them released to their parents pending further court proceedings.
Karen A says
The car owner didn’t know the car was gone… ok that can happen if you leave it parked in your driveway, but the parents didn’t know that their children were home at that hour… you got to be kidding… great parents… not…
Cyn Rodgers says
I still don’t understand why they are not left in juvenile jail. They get to go home and sleep in a comfy bed and eat and watch TV like they never committed a felony ? Guess tax payers will pay later when it happens again.
1. CYN your right they should of spent a few days in juvenile jail and processed to humiliate them this way they could see where their actions would eventually take ’em
2. Why didn’t their parents know where they were.
3. Are they really nice kids but tried a new trick of testing door handles, or are they actually doing this routinely?
I did some dumb stuff as a kid, but if I ever did something like this, my parents would make sure I would/could never do it again! Lets see what these people do!
Testing the door handles in every FPC Section is a right of passage. Usually between 12 and 4 am. I called it the bewitching hour. From the best to the worst area of Town it’s what they do
Mary Fusco says
A right of passage? I think NOT. As a law abiding tax paying citizen I have the right to leave my vehicle in the driveway, unlocked and running if I choose. These wanna be punk thugs in training have NO right to step a foot on my property, nevermind touch my car. Why should law abiding citizens have to live under lock and key, cameras and alarms so that punks can roam freely? Sadly, today there is no parenting and these jerks will just go on to bigger and better crimes. Maybe if it were your car that was “missing” when you got up to go to work you would think differently. I raised 4 kids and if one of them did this, I would have left them in custody.
A Concerned Observer says
FYI you are not have the right to leave your vehicle running if you choose, according to Florida Statute 316.1975: Unattended motor vehicle.—
(1) A person driving or in charge of any motor vehicle may not permit it to stand unattended without first stopping the engine, locking the ignition, and removing the key. Just Say’en
Concerned Citizen says
Reading skills are important…
The owner had a set of keys in the glovebox. The car was not running. We are forgetting the owner of the vehicle was the victim.
A concerned Observer says
Yes, reading skills ARE important. My comment was a reply to the comment to which it was attached. Ms. Mary Fusco says commented that she had the right to leave her vehicle “unlocked and running if I choose.” Not so. Failing to properly secure your vehicle is a citeable offense under Florida Statutes.
Concerned Citizen says
Do you keep a set of lock out keys on your vehicle? Most of us do.
Why are we trying to victim blame? Let’s start holding no good thieving asshats accountable for THEIR actions. And start showing a little more concern for innocent victims.
I agree only stating what I know to be true. You are correct and I am with you 100% . In NO way do I condone that behavior.
PS my car was broke into and thats how I became aware of the situation just sayin
Why were 14 year olds wandering the streets at 3 in the morning? Where are the parents? The demise of the American family and a lack of education is mainly the root csuse of crime in America.
Charlie Ericksen Jr says
Ahhhh…. 14 years old and at 3:30 AM, are out walking the streets.. Hmm, wonder where Mom and Dad are. ??
Perhaps, they should share a room at the jail with them..
Lovely Lady says
Mom and dad were probably sleeping like most normal people do. The kids snuck out and got themselves into trouble after mom and dad were snoozing. We all did stupid things when we were young. I’m not justifying what they did was right but let’s hope they have learned a good lesson and it was a one time thing. No need to crucify them. They are probably humiliated enough. I do hope they don’t get a slap on the wrist so it doesn’t happen again.
It takes a certain kind of personality, a certain level of nerve and disregard to do this. A definite lack of parenting and supervision produces this behavior. This is not right of passage stuff. Sorry.
Concerned Citizen says
I grew up in a military family. I respected my parents and knew that I wanted to go into the Service as well. Hard to be Airforce Security Forces with a felony on your record. I then went on to retire honorably from a 30 year public safety career.
I currently have started working another career in the security industry. I service all sorts of areas from commercial to residential. Kids now days have no respect for themselves. And zero for authority. I have been told to f off by many a juvenile under 14. I would never have done that. Because my dad would have seen to it I didn’t sit for a month.
Where did it go wrong. And how do we fix it?
Sounds like these kids wanted to be anywhere BUT home.
Concerned Citizen says
I notice the headlne of the article takes a shot at the victim. And lays a little blame. Nothing like a little victim blaming.
How many of us have spare keys on our vehicles to prevent lock out? How is that any different? There is zero fault own the owners here. They are VICTIMS of disrespectful teen age punks. Who are going to get themselves in a bad situation one day. Because if you snoop around my property at night unnanounced you won’t like the welcome you get.
Let’s stop blaming victims. And making lamo excuses for perps. Time to own up and admit your a thieving asshat. With no respect for others.
I think it’s ashame that all of our Law Enforcement Agencies lay these silly campaigns on about locking down our houses and imprisoning ourselves at a certain time. Instead of getting out there and getting these criminals. And insisting that the DA and Judges hand down harsher sentences.
PC Anon says
FCSO always tells everyone to lock your vehicles. I understand having a key for valet reasons but at least lock the damn car or take it inside when you don’t need the valet key…..
As for the kids being out in the middle of the night, most kids have the curiosity to explore and see what they can get away with. Most kids back in the day would sneak out or follow their friends when they probably shouldn’t have. Curiosity killed the cat!
I am not justifying the situation or the choices that were made by these kids whatsoever, it definitely could have been worse with them taking the car but in this situation, both parties are to blame….. including the parents.
I hope they have learned their lesson!