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Art Theft

Since March 17, car dealerships in the Winston-Salem and Kernersville areas of North Carolina have been haunted by a string of break-ins that have resulted in the loss of dozens of vehicles reportedly worth a combined $1,138,718. Authorities believe to have identified the culprits behind the thefts, but are running into a series of troubles bringing them to justice—because the majority of the car thieves are underage, and even as young as nine years old.

According to a police release reported by WFMY News 2, a group of 19 children between the ages of nine and 16 has been attributed for 20 separate heists at 13 different car dealers, representing the makes Audi, Chevrolet, Ford, Honda, Lexus, Subaru, Toyota, and Volvo. Across these break-ins, the children reportedly managed to steal a total of 46 vehicles, of which 40 have been recovered. One of these vehicles was found in the possession of a 19-year-old by the name of Mekeal Stewart Binns, who was charged with being in possession of a stolen vehicle and is currently being held at the Forsyth County Detention Center, according to The Charlotte Observer.

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