For clarification – There are a total of 5 juveniles involved in the incident - two cars were stolen. Ages include (2) 12-year-olds, a 13-year-old, and (2) 14-year-olds. All reside in the Cottonwood area. The 12-year olds were initially detained at the crash site pictured on right. The release was delayed as the investigation was ongoing with the final arrest occurring on August 13, 2012.
On August 5, 2012, at approximately 6:30 AM, Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrived at the scene of a vehicle crash on Old State Hwy 279 and Quail Springs Ranch Road, Cottonwood. Police officers from Cottonwood were already on scene and had detained two juveniles who were found rummaging through the vehicle. Both juveniles, each 12-years-old, told deputies they were walking down the road and came across the overturned vehicle. One of the juveniles had blood on his pants and a bandaged right hand. He claimed the injury was sustained while checking the vehicle for occupants.
The parents of both juveniles were notified and arrived at the accident location. Each parent told deputies their respective son was supposed to be staying with a friend. The owner of the vehicle, a white 1998 Toyota 4-Runner, had since reported his car stolen and did not know the 2 juveniles who had been detained. A short time later, the vehicle owner determined that his 14-year-old daughter may have had phone contact with another 14-year boy in Cottonwood on Lariat Circle. One of the 12-year-olds, who was being detained at the crash site, had apparently stayed at the Lariat Circle home last night. Deputies investigated this connection.
The 12-year-olds were then given an opportunity tell the tr</p>
<p>uth. Deputies learned the Toyota owner’s daughter had previously contacted her 14-year-old friend who resides on Lariat Circle, and asked him to move her dad’s car as it was not parked correctly. She told him the house was unlocked and the car keys were in a kitchen cabinet. The 14-year-old then called his two 12-year-old friends and they all walked to the house on Verde View Drive in Cottonwood shortly after midnight. Once they had the keys, the group decided to take the Toyota for a “joyride.”
All three juveniles took turns driving the car in areas including Cottonwood, Jerome, and Sedona. Around 3 AM, they picked up 13-year-old male friend and drove to Lariat Circle home. At this home, the 14-year-old resident decided to steal his mom’s 2011 Honda truck and drive around while following the Toyota driven by assorted juveniles.
In the morning, one of the 12-year-olds was driving the Toyota, took a turn too fast, and rolled the vehicle. Each 12-year-old blamed the other. It was not clear if any other juveniles were in the vehicle at the time of the crash. Both 12-year-olds were treated at Verde Valley Medical Center and then booked at the Prescott Juvenile Detention Facility for Burglary and Vehicle Theft.
Later that day, deputies went to the Lariat Circle home and arrested the 14-year-old for 2 counts of Vehicle Theft – the Toyota and Honda, and Burglary. He was booked at the Prescott Juvenile Detention Center.
On August 6, 2012, deputies followed up with the Toyota owner and his daughter. On the evening of August 4 she texted her friend on Lariat Circle, and asked him to park the car for her. She had driven it the night before and did not park it correctly. She claimed no knowledge of her friend’s intent to steal her dad’s car. She was arrested and booked at the Prescott Juvenile Detention Center for Facilitation of a Criminal Act.
On August 13, 2012, deputies contacted the 13-year-old male who had been picked up around 3 am on August 5, and he admitted driving the Toyota that morning. He was also arrested and booked at the Prescott Juvenile Detention for Theft and Unlawful Use of a Vehicle.
Citizens can contact the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office with information or questions at 928-771-3260 or the YCSO website: www.ycsoaz.gov