Police forced to use stinger to stop 14-year-old joyrider after Vauxhall Corsa is stolen from a Preston care home
A 14-year-old boy has been arrested after allegedly stealing a Vauxhall Corsa from a care home in Preston.
Police said they were forced to use the 'stinger' to stop the youngster after he took the car on a joyride through Moor Park in the early hours of Tuesday (October 29).
The white Vauxhall Corsa had been reported stolen from a nearby care home shortly after midnight.
At around 3am, a traffic officer in an unmarked police car spotted the stolen Corsa driving erratically and began to pursue it.
To prevent a high-speed pursuit, the officer requested assistance from Tactical Operations (Tac Ops) who swooped into action.
The Tac Ops team laid the 'stinger' (a tyre deflation device) across a section of road where the boy had been heading.
Unaware of the trap, the boy drove over the stinger which punctured three of the Corsa's tyres.
The boy continued driving but the Corsa soon lost speed and he was swiftly intercepted by a number of police cars.
PC Kemp of the Lancashire Police Tac Ops team said: "The 14-year-old driving this car was a little surprised to have the car reported stolen by staff at his local care home.
"He was unaware he had been stung and just as surprised to see several Tac Ops vehicles suddenly intercept him.
"The boy was arrested on suspicion of aggravated 'UTMV' (unauthorised taking of a motor vehicle) and for driving without a licence and insurance.
"The vehicle was sighted at around 3am by one of our unmarked traffic cars and followed.
"We were able to use this to our advantage and plan ahead so the stinger was used.
"This prevented the vehicle making off at high speed and potentially putting people at risk.
"Three of the four tyres deflated and as he was driving at low speed we were able to box him in without any direct contact.
"There was damage to the vehicle, both at the front and rear, which was evident from his inexperienced driving."
A picture of the recovered Corsa shows damage to the body work and a broken spotlight - as well as three flat tyres due to the stinger.
The car was also covered in mud and foliage, suggesting that the car might have gone off-road at some point.
The youth was taken to a police station where he was locked in cells for the remainder of the night.
"He spent the night in a cell", confirmed PC Kemp.
"He was released in the morning under investigation, pending a referral to the Youth Offending Team.
"But they have already had multiple dealings with him, so he will be getting reported for the offences as soon as possible and will be making an appearance at court."
What is aggravated taking of a motor vehicle?
Aggravated vehicle-taking combines the taking of a vehicle without the owner's consent with driving it dangerously, causing injury, or causing damage to the vehicle or other property.
It carries a mandatory disqualification from driving.
The Aggravated Vehicle-Taking Act 1992 was brought in to tackle the problem of joyriding, which was a widespread problem in the UK at the time.