JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A 2019 Kia sedan that was stolen from a Westside home ended up on fire in a ditch next to a New Town gas station on Wednesday following a suspect chase involving the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.
The car owner said she woke up this morning and realized her car was gone. She looked at the surveillance video and saw it was parked at her home up until 8:30 a.m.
On Wednesday afternoon, she got a call from JSO who told her that her car was destroyed during a chase with suspects.
She said police told her multiple suspects were involved and ranged in age from 9 to 14 years old.
She said she does not have a push-button starter and that police told her the suspects used some kind of device to start the car and take off.
A man working at a juice shop near where the car crashed at the corner of Kings Street and Barnett Street said he didn’t see the police chase and crash but he did see the suspects take off running after the car caught on fire.
While it’s unclear if police captured all the suspects who ran from the car, News4JAX did confirm one of the suspects was taken to the hospital.
JSO said multiple Kia cars have been reported stolen within recent days. Half the number of cars reported stolen two weeks ago in Jacksonville were made by Hyundai and Kia, JSO said. Both automakers have mailed letters to owners, letting them know that if they have a key ignition start instead of a push button start, their vehicle is at risk of being stolen. Both automakers are offering free installations of software that prevents the vehicles from starting if they are broken into.
It’s unclear if all of the suspects were captured, but police were seen searching the immediate area with dogs.