OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — On Saturday, the Nebraska State Patrol (NSP) received a report about a stolen Jeep Gladiator out of Lincoln which it says was traveling eastbound on Interstate 80 (I-80) toward Omaha. Following a brief chase in Omaha, NSP said the 11-year-old driver was released to his mother and two other passengers, both 14-year-old boys, were lodged at the Douglas County Youth Center.
NSP said,” At approximately 12:50 a.m. Saturday, NSP received a report that a Jeep Gladiator had been stolen in Lincoln and was traveling eastbound toward Omaha on Interstate 80. A trooper was able to locate the vehicle on I-80 in Omaha and attempted a traffic stop near the 42nd street interchange. The vehicle stopped briefly, but then fled as the trooper attempted to contact the driver. The trooper initiated a pursuit.”
As the trooper followed, the chase allegedly reached a speed of 110 miles per hour and a handgun was thrown from the vehicle. It was recovered by another trooper while the pursuit continued.
The vehicle eventually came to a voluntary stop near the 20th Street overpass where troopers took all three occupants into custody without incident.
NSP said an additional handgun was also found and that both were determined to be stolen.
NSP added, “The driver, an 11-year-old male, was cited for theft by unlawful taking – over $5,000, possession of a stolen firearm, flight to avoid arrest, willful reckless driving, obstruction, and traffic violations. He was released to his mother. The two passengers, 14-year-old males, were lodged in the Douglas County Youth Center for possession of a stolen firearm.”
An NSP official told us, "Per Nebraska State Statute, 'A child twelve years of age or younger shall not be placed in detention under any circumstances'. That’s why the 14-year-olds were lodged at DCYC and the 11-year-old was not."
There were no injuries related to the pursuit which lasted about three minutes.