We\’re the Florida reporters who spent eight months talking to kid auto thieves about why and how they steal cars. Ask us anything!

Our short bio: We’re Lisa Gartner and Zack Sampson, reporters at the Tampa Bay Times. We just published several stories about how children who steal cars have become one of the biggest crime problems in our Florida county. Police here made almost 500 arrests for grand theft auto in one year, more than just about anywhere in America, including Miami and Los Angeles. The kids were as young as 10. They were too small to ride all the rides at the amusement park. But they sped 100+ mph, the wrong way on bridges, and crashed a lot. Some died. The kids told us their reasoning was simple: to have fun. One boy we wrote about, just 13, was considered the most dangerous kid on the street. Cops thought he had an AK-47. He was barely 100 pounds.

Link to the story




EDIT: We\’re humans. We need to go to lunch. We will come back after we\’re done and look for more questions in about an hour! Thanks for checking in.

EDIT TWO: Alright everyone, thanks so much for tuning in. There were quite a few great questions, and we enjoyed discussing the stories. We\’re at nearly eight hours, which is about our limit. Please keep reading!

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