12/15/2014 11:54 EST | Updated 02/14/2015 05:59 EST

12-year-old Kitchener girl charged after police chase

A 12-year-old girl and a 14-year-old friend allegedly stole a family member's car and led police officers on a wild and dangerous car chase through the south end of Kitchener, Ont.

Police said the incident began early Monday, when an officer spotted a car driving erratically on Fairview Road without any headlights on at about 3 a.m.

According to police, the officer made an attempt to pull the vehicle over, but the driver refused to stop. 

The officer continued to follow the car with its lights and sirens going, and soon more police vehicles joined in the chase.

Cruiser damaged in chase

At several points, the officers in pursuit tried and failed to bring the car to a halt, according to Waterloo Regional Police spokesman Olaf Heinzel. 

"In each case, the driver again refused to co-operate with police, on several incidents drove onto the curb and sideswiped a cruiser," he said.

"After several attempts, the car went off the road and struck a utility pole." 

Officers swarmed the vehicle only to discover that the driver was a 12-year-old girl. 

"I can't speak for the officers at the scene, but I would imagine that they would have been very surprised that a 12-year-old is driving a car," Heinzel said. 

The girl was arrested at the scene and has been released to the care of her family. 

Girl faces 4 charges

She is scheduled to appear in court in February on charges of flight from police, dangerous driving, taking a motor vehicle without consent and driving without a licence. 

A 14-year-old girl who was a passenger in the stolen vehicle during the chase will likely also face charges, according to police. 

The identities of the girls are protected under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.