“As a community, we should be extremely concerned over a 13-year-old driving a stolen car, during rush hour, while high on (marijuana),” Hanson wrote. “Everybody’s kind of numb, and we can’t be,” he added during the interview with the State Journal.
The vehicle was reported stolen on Monday, police spokesperson Stephanie Fryer said, and an investigation into the Tuesday crash was ongoing.
Hanson used the incident to highlight a $125,000 federal grant the department has received that could help deter similar crimes in the future, as the Madison area has for years been experiencing a rash of stolen vehicles and home break-ins by groups of teens and young adults. The vehicles are often used to go steal other vehicles and break into other homes, where credit cards are sometimes taken and used at local stores before cardholders know they’re gone, police have said.
The grant comes after Madison police sought ideas from the community last year for how to stem repeat juvenile crime, and as a result, the department is working with a four-year-old Madison nonprofit called RISE to “provide resources directly into the homes of our most familiar teenagers committing violence in our community,” Hanson said.
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