Multiple juveniles arrested for attempted car thefts in New Jersey

Police say it appears the suspects were trying to steal the vehicle as demonstrated in videos circulating on social media.

Tuesday, August 1, 2023
Multiple juveniles arrested for attempted car thefts in NJ
Multiple juveniles have been arrested for attempted car thefts in a New Jersey community.

HARRISON TWP., New Jersey (WPVI) -- Police in Gloucester County, New Jersey say three young suspects have been arrested for attempting to steal a car from an apartment complex in broad daylight.

Officers were called to the Mullica West Apartment Complex around 2:30 p.m. Monday.

A caller told police the juveniles had smashed the window on her 2013 Kia Soul, and one of them entered the vehicle.

"There's a TikTok sensation where you can break in, destroy the steering column and use a USB to start the car and take it," said Harrison Township Police Chief Ronald Cundey.

The vehicle's alarm went off and three suspects fled. Police say all three suspects were taken into custody after a brief foot chase.

The suspects include a 12-year-old from Mullica Hill, a 14-year-old from Mullica Hill and a 14-year-old from Gibbstown.

They have been charged with attempted burglary, criminal mischief and other offenses.

The three suspects were released to their parents pending court appearances.

RELATED: TikTok challenge sparks surge in car thefts across Philadelphia region, police say

These arrests come one day after five teenagers were arrested in Mullica Hill.

All of the teens were from Wilmington, Delaware, and were 13 to 18 years old. They were caught allegedly trying to get into cars at the Lehigh Court Estates. One was found sleeping in a Kia reported stolen in Delaware.

Investigators are concerned they may be part of a car theft ring.

"Using juveniles specifically, because the juveniles will not get in as much trouble as an adult who gets caught. They pay the juveniles big money to do this stuff," said Chief Cundey.