A TEEN driver taunted police before crashing his stolen car in Lavington yesterday.
Police said the teen, with two other youths in the car, drove at police, forcing them to jump out of the way in a cul-de-sac about 5am.
As he passed police, they said he smiled and stuck his middle finger up, before driving off.
Police did not chase the car and it was found soon after, mounted on a wrecked, low brick fence in Union Road.
Insp John Wadsworth, of Albury said the boys were lucky to be alive.
It apparently was the second crash of the night, both stolen cars, on both sides of the border.
One of the boys, 14, is in Albury hospital with a broken leg.
Another, 15, was treated for face injuries but was expected to be released.
The alleged driver, 15, has been charged with two counts of theft of motor vehicle and one of theft from motor vehicle.
He will appear in a Victorian Children’s Court next month.
Insp Wadsworth said the incident emphasised the danger of young people joyriding.
“People seem to think it’s a joyride. It’s not. It’s bloody dangerous,” he said.
“It’s extremely frustrating for police that we still have what appears to be joyriding that could have again had tragic consequences.”
A boy, 15, suffered serious injuries to his face and legs this month after crashing a stolen utility in Albury.
And Kyralee Clark, 17, died last year when the car she was a passenger in a crash after a cross-border police chase.
“It’s so dangerous to chase them but there’s still crashes like this,” Insp Wadsworth said.
“It’s awful for parents and police alike.”
The drama started in Kyle Court, Wodonga, about midnight with three youths allegedly breaking into a car and pushing another into the street before stealing it.
They fled after crashing a silver Magna into a pole in McKoy Street.
A Hyundai sedan was then stolen in Drages Road, Wodonga, and driven to Albury.
Insp John Wadsworth said Albury police had seen the car parked in Boronia Street, North Albury, about 5am but it sped off without lights when police approached.
It turned into Batten Street, a cul-de-sac, and police followed with lights and sirens on.
The driver allegedly drove at police as they entered the cul-de-sac.
Insp Wadsworth said the driver had the window down and stuck up his middle figure at police as he sped off.
Police found the youths in Jelbart Park soon after being called to the Union Road crash.
Detective Sen-Constable Andrew Leonard, of Wodonga, said the three were lucky to be alive.
“You’ve got untrained, inexperienced kids, driving cars and even at that time of morning they manage to find something to collide with, twice,” he said. “They are fortunate to be alive to tell the story.”