Pinellas Teen Auto Theft 2020-12-23T13:21:35-05:00

Pinellas Teen Auto Theft

The Pinellas County teen auto theft epidemic continues 

St. Petersburg is ground zero for a years-long dangerous joyriding crisis that has spread throughout Pinellas County, which has led the state – and at times the nation – in number of juvenile auto theft arrests (estimated 13 people have been killed and many more injured, not to mention the property damage).


The Caruthers Institute conducted a solutions-driven study that combines national expert opinions and best practices with local knowledge gained from law enforcement, community leaders, and Pinellas youth who’ve been involved in thefts. The short-term goal is to reduce the number of teen auto thefts, while the long-term goal is to address root causes. The study includes recommendations for solutions and immediate next steps.

To read the study, click here

Teen Auto Theft Victims

Study Teen auto theft victims in Pinellas County: We want to hear from you! Your voice is not being heard in the debate on how to handle the crisis of children stealing cars for dangerous joyriding. Contact us and share your story. Tell us how this issue has impacted your life.

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Study News Coverage

Is St. Petersburg moving closer to solving the juvenile auto theft crisis? | Editorial (February 15 2020) Tampa Bay Times

Here are ways to stem Pinellas’ teen car theft epidemic | Editorial (October 29 2019) Tampa Bay Times

Study: Pinellas 2nd worst in Florida for teen auto thefts (October 29 2019) Channel 28 ABC Action News 

Study shows Pinellas County has an “epidemic” of youth stealing cars for dangerous joyrides (November 5 2019) Bay News 9 In-Depth

Teen auto theft in Pinellas is still an epidemic (October 27 2019) Tampa Bay Times

Is teen auto theft still out of control in St. Petersburg? Depends who you ask.  (August 19 2019)  Tampa Bay Times

The Caruthers Institute led a research study on the issue of juvenile auto thefts and presented some of the findings to the city (August 15 2019) by Emerald Morrow  Channel 10 WTSP

Editorial: Smart ideas for reducing teen car thefts in Pinellas (March 27 2018) Tampa Bay Times

Researcher says Pinellas’ car theft crisis is fixable, but still more dangerous than most realize (March 26 2018) by Zachary T. Sampson Tampa Bay Times 

Editorial: Experts can help reverse deadly trend of teen car thefts in Pinellas (November 28 2017) Tampa Bay Times

National study to focus on juvenile car theft epidemic in Pinellas (November 27 2017) By Lisa Gartner and Zachary T. Sampson Tampa Bay Times