D.C. youths arrests for carjackings, car thefts increasing

The call went out Sunday morning. Two young men were seen trying to break into a Jeep Cherokee brandishing a shotgun.

Minutes later a D.C. patrol officer spotted the Jeep and gave chase, reaching speeds of 70 miles per hour in this residential neighborhood. After a brief chase the car crashed.

Behind the wheel was a 12-year-old boy with four passengers.

Four boys and one girl--all between the ages of 12 and 15 years old--were taken to the hospital after the 12-year-old boy who was driving lost control and crashed. All were treated and released.

This is not an isolated incident. So far this year, there have been more than 3,500 cars reported stolen in the District.

While that number is down from previous years, the number of juveniles being arrested for car thefts and carjackings is has risen.

Recent statistics show juveniles make up 7 percent of all arrests but account for 45 percent of those arrested for carjackings and robberies.

Last year, 381 juveniles were arrested for carjackings and robberies and 186 were charged with riding in a stolen car.