Fresno girl, 10, goes on joyride in stolen minivan, police say

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A 10-year-old girl was stopped Friday after going on a joyride through Fresno in a van stolen from her group home, authorities said.

The girl was first spotted just before 1:30 p.m. driving recklessly in a green Toyota minivan, westbound on Belmont Avenue near California 99, according to Fresno police Lt. Joe Gomez. The minivan stopped at an intersection.

An officer spotted the minivan and turned on his lights, but the vehicle drove off.

The driver pulled over abruptly to the side of the road.

As the officer approached the minivan, he discovered the driver was a 10-year-old girl.

She took the minivan from the group home after school, Gomez said. The director of the group home wasn’t aware of the vehicle theft and doesn’t know how she got access to the keys, he said


Apparently, Gomez said, the girl took the minivan on a freeway ride. As she left the freeway at Olive Avenue, she struck and damaged a vehicle. No one in the vehicle was injured, he said. She continued driving until the officer spotted her.

The girl was returned to the group home, and the van was towed to an auto repair shop, Gomez said.

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