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Police Stop Kids Who Drove Stolen SUV 600 Miles

Aussie kids packed fishing rods, left a note
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 15, 2019 3:48 AM CDT
New South Wales state police Acting Inspector Darren Williams speaks about child drivers during a news conference in Coffs Harbour, Australia, Monday, July 15, 2019.   (Australian Broadcasting Corporation via AP)

(Newser) – Four children aged 10 to 14 packed fishing rods in a parent's SUV, left a farewell note, then drove more than 600 miles down the Australian east coast before they were stopped by police the next day, an officer says. When the children were stopped by police near Grafton in New South Wales state at 10:40pm Sunday, they locked the doors and refused to get out, Acting Police Inspector Darren Williams said. A police officer used a baton to break a window of the Nissan Patrol, which had been reported stolen, Williams says. Police were not sure which child or children drove or why they left Rockhampton in Queensland state on Saturday. The children are a 14-year-old boy, two 13-year-old boys, and a 10-year-old girl, the AP reports.

Williams says they possibly shared the driving. "It's a long way, in excess of 1,000 kilometers (600 miles) from Rockhampton down to Grafton. I couldn't imagine one person actually driving all that way in two days," Williams says. The children are suspected of failing to pay for gasoline at gas stations in two towns, Williams says. They were also chased by police in the New South Wales town of Glen Innes, where a 13-year-old was suspected to be driving, the officer says. "There was a short pursuit up there with the Highway Patrol and due to the age of the driver and the road conditions, that was terminated by the Highway Patrol officers," he says. Williams did not know if the children were related or how they knew each other.

(Read more Australia stories.)

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