Police officers searching the streets for cars stolen in burglaries in Sheffield last week spotted a Ford Focus taken in a raid earlier that day.
Officers followed the car, which failed to stop, and a police pursuit was mounted.
A number of police cars were deployed to assist as well as a police helicopter to monitor the pursuit from the sky.
When the driver abandoned the car and fled on foot he was tracked down by a police dog and his handler, who found him hiding in a garden.
When checks were carried out, officers discovered that the driver was just 15 years old.
He was arrested and later charged.
In a Facebook post, South Yorkshire Police’s operation support unit said: “On Thursday night we were looking for cars that had been taken in two-in-one burglaries, where thieving so-and-sos break into your house to steal your car keys and then your car, when a Ford Focus that had been stolen earlier that day rather brazenly drove in front of one of our marked cars.
“Maybe the Focus driver thought we would be going after the other stolen vehicle that had just driven past us, from a different burglary believe it or not. Maybe he just did not care.
“However, having made a decision to go with the Focus, the (driver) reacted as you might expect and tried to run away, so our colleague found himself in a pursuit with the stolen Focus.”
The post continued: “Every time he turned a corner, there was another police car working to bring the pursuit to an end.
“It wasn’t long before the lads in the Focus decided to try their luck on foot, and jumped out, leaving the Focus to roll into a parked car.
“The next bit of bad news for the driver is that our team includes not just traffic cops, but dog handlers and helicopters. When they run where a BMW won’t fit, it usually follows that a dog will. And helicopters can see almost anywhere.”