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Cambridge teen already facing carjacking charge arrested after stealing a car in Brookline with a dog inside, then nearly running over some MIT students, police say

Cambridge Police report arresting a local 15-year-old this morning for what they say was a series of incidents Saturday that started with him stealing an unlocked BMW at a Brookline clothing store and ended with him nearly ramming three MIT students - just after he'd stopped near them to ditch the dog that was in the car - police say.

The teen, not named because of his age, and who had been arrested just last week for an alleged carjacking in Medford in February, was cruising the parking lot of the TJ Maxx on Harvard Street in Brookline, near the Allston line, Saturday afternoon, when he spotted a 2017 BMW that was not only unlocked, it had the key fob needed to start the car in the center console, police say. When the car's owner came out of the store, around 4:15 p.m., she reported the car - and her dog, which she'd left inside - missing.

A BOLO went out over a regional police channel and:

Approximately 15 minutes later, Cambridge Emergency Communications received a call that a vehicle matching the description of the stolen BMW was seen in Cambridge in the area of Amherst and Wadsworth Street, and that the operator got out of the car, pushed a dog outside of the vehicle, returned and backed up in the car nearly injuring three students, and drove off towards Memorial Drive. The dog was safely recovered by students and responding officers with the MIT and Cambridge Police. Cambridge Police officers were then able to locate the stolen BMW, which was parked and unoccupied, on Winter Street just after 5:30 p.m. The owner was reunited with the dog and vehicle later that night.

Police say Cambridge detectives, working with counterparts from Brookline and MIT, found the teen this morning and arrested him on charges in Norfolk Superior Court for larceny of a motor vehicle and larceny over $1,200 for the theft of the BMW and charges out of Middlesex Superior court for receiving a stolen motor vehicle and receiving stolen property over $1,200. Cambridge Police say they will likely add additional charges.

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Comments

… but also maybe read the riot act to the owner who left a

2017 BMW that was not only unlocked, it had the key fob needed to start the car in the center console

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I don't blame the victim, because I consider the dog the victim in this case. I do blame the irresponsible person who left her dog in a car that practically had a sign saying "Steal me."

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Where was the driver, inside a sign store picking up their new "FREE CAR" sign?

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It's a *bad idea*, but this kind of outcome is extraordinarily unlikely, so I hardly think this goes as far as "read the riot act". And it's a normal thing to do in a great many parts of the world, because people mostly aren't thieves. Maybe "gently suggest not doing that again"?

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it's a normal thing to do in a great many parts of the world, because people mostly aren't thieves

Where I live, every car sold comes equipped with door locks specifically because people need to lock their car when leaving it unoccupied so that it or its contents won't be stolen. Curious where you've been living where that isn't the case, honestly.

(also, the cars that come with fobs to open them also typically auto-lock when the fob is removed from the car - specifically for this exact purpose!)

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In rural areas, and even suburbs, there's less risk of theft. *Especially* rural areas.

Of course, there are other kinds of crime. A friend of mine in Vermont said there had been a rash of people finding zucchini in their car when they came back out to the parking lot. Someone had too many and was trying to offload them all sneaky-like!

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One old friend's theory was to leave his car doors unlocked but with a heavy lock on the steering wheel, and to leave nothing else in the car. That way, people could let themselves in, find nothing to steal, and leave. It worked, except that every so often he'd have to roust someone snoozing in his back seat.

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Are there no juvenile detention facilities in Brookline or Cambridge? How do you just walk away from an alleged carjacking?

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MIT students should be more alert to their surroundings

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Having seen students cross the street in front of Building 7 without looking more times than I can count, I agree.

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Assuming facts not in evidence.

What we do know is that the MIT students weren't injured. Maybe they did notice the stolen car reversing up the street, and stopped short while walking.

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I hope the courts and DYS can do an effective intervention.

If not, might get a rude surprise when he commits his first adult felony. Hope it's not First Degree Murder, like one case I know.

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Why not simply theft?

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Probably just being conservative on how they charge him: in either case, as the cop shows used to say, it's enough to get him downtown. They can always add a car theft charge later if it seems appropriate.

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