8 teenage car theft suspects released from jail 2 days after Midtown chase

Published: Jan. 19, 2023 at 5:34 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Eight teenagers are out of police custody just two days after being accused of crashing stolen cars in Midtown and then running from Memphis police.

Rebecca Philips’ 2017 Hyundai Tucson was stolen not even a week after she drove it off the car lot.

“My other car is dead, and so that’s why we purchased a car. I only got to drive it for two days,” she said.

Memphis police said the culprits involved were all teenagers.

Three of the suspects were 13-year-olds, and the oldest of the group of eight was 18-year-old David Stockard.

Memphis police said the chase ensued Monday when the group, inside the stolen Hyundai, were attempting to steal another Hyundai in the 2200 block of Madison Avenue but crashed.

All were arrested, charged and released. Philips says it’s unbelievable.

“I always hope and wish that the system will change, but I don’t know what that would look like,” said Philips.

Rather than blaming teenagers for the car theft crisis happening nationwide, Phillips suggests that Kia and Hyundai manufacturers should increase their safety standards on all their vehicles.

“They haven’t fixed this issue as well as they could have... they could have equipped us better or made their cars better,” she said.

Philips said she’s still working with insurance to replace the vehicle. Meanwhile, Stockard is facing multiple charges including attempted theft and theft. He will be in court Feb. 3.

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