12-year-old juvenile is pictured driving a truck with multiple police vehicles in a slow-speed pursuit on July 25. (
HINSDALE — In a dramatic and harrowing incident, a 12-year-old girl led multiple law enforcement agencies on a vehicle chase, putting both pedestrians and motorists in danger.
The incident began at approximately 12:30 pm on July 25, when a concerned juvenile contacted Hinsdale police, reporting that a family member’s truck had been stolen by a young girl and driven to the caller’s residence. The Hinsdale, Winchester and Swanzey police departments, as well as New Hampshire State Police and the Cheshire County Sheriff’s Office were involved in the chase.
According to reports from the Cheshire County Sheriff’s Office and the Hinsdale Police Department, the caller informed authorities that the girl was driving erratically, nearly striking multiple objects and vehicles. Lt. Melissa Evans and Det. David Upton of the Hinsdale Police Department immediately launched a search for the stolen truck.
The juvenile driver also called 911 for assistance, during the chaotic situation. Police found the truck on Brattleboro Road in Hinsdale. Det. Upton saw it was several cars ahead of him and used blue lights to clear traffic, until he was directly behind the truck on Main Street, heading towards Winchester.
As the chase unfolded, the girl made it clear that she had no intention of stopping. Hinsdale Police faced a difficult decision, considering several factors that contributed to their continued pursuit.
The juvenile’s erratic driving raised concerns about public safety so they decided to use lights and sirens to alert pedestrians and motorists to the situation.
Additionally, the girl was traveling 40 mph in a 30 mph zone on Canal Street, an area known for its congestion. Given her inability to keep the vehicle within its lane, escalating the speed would have exacerbated the hazardous situation.
By driving away from her home, after crossing onto Canal Street, she further complicated the scenario. Adding to their concern was knowledge of the juvenile’s history, which, due to her age, will remain undisclosed to the public. Understanding her background provided the officers with additional context during the pursuit.
The girl’s reckless ride crossed into Winchester, where she struck numerous guardrails and ventured into oncoming traffic. Witnesses reported the truck’s speeds varied between 25 mph and 60 mph. One motorist, caught in the chaotic pursuit, revealed that their vehicle had been struck by the truck.
Chief Cheshire County Deputy Sheriff Caleb Dodson said, “The vehicle continued into Winchester, where police in that town joined the pursuit. The vehicle then turned onto Route 10 and drove north toward Swanzey, before turning around.”
When Winchester police arrived, they took control of the pursuit. At the junction of Rt 119, Rt 10 and Rt 78, Lt. Evans and Det. Upton withdrew from the chase.
Swanzy police were waiting at the town line, where they had placed spike strips, to intercept the truck if it crossed over the town line. NH State Police were positioned to intercept the truck, if it moved too close to Keene.
The chase came to end when spike strips laid down by Winchester police near the intersection of Hinsdale Road and Main Street blew out the truck’s tires. After the truck came to a stop, the girl jumped out and made a break for it.
“The girl led officers on a foot chase, before she was stopped and taken into police custody just after 1 p.m.,” Deputy Dodson explained.
The girl’s motive for the escapade remains a subject of interest for law enforcement.
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