Four boys were caught by Madison police Sunday afternoon allegedly trying to move up in the transportation chain by dumping their bikes in favor of cars.
The attempted auto thefts happened at Abra Auto Body and Glass, 6505 Odana Road, at about 5 p.m. Sunday, police said.
The suspects -- Madison boys ages 11, 12, 13 and 15 -- were tentatively charged with two counts each of operating a motor vehicle without owner's consent, plus one count each of theft from a motor vehicle and resisting or obstructing.
Police spokesman Joel DeSpain said a witness saw the suspects entering vehicles on the car lot.
"It was determined they tried to steal a couple of cars and in the process caused $1,200 damage to a Mercedes by jamming a screwdriver in the ignition," DeSpain said.
When the first officers arrived they found the suspects trying to pry open a lock box on the building that contained the keys to the Mercedes.
The juveniles also allegedly stole a scissors from a medical kit in the car.