Australian children caught by police after driving 600 miles

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Four children aged 10 to 14 packed fishing rods in an SUV, left a farewell note, then drove around 1,000km (600 miles).

Four children in Australia got into one of their parents’ car and drove for more than 600 miles (around 1,000km) before being stopped by police the following day.

Police said the children, who were aged between 10 and 14, had packed the car with fishing rods and left a goodbye note before getting into the SUV on Saturday.

When they were stopped near Grafton in New South Wales on Sunday night, the young joyriders locked the doors and refused to get out, according to the Acting Police Inspector Darren Williams.

To get into the car, police smashed windows of the Nissan Patrol, which had previously been reported missing.

Acting Inspector Darren Williams said the children had driven 600 miles in the stolen car
Image:Acting Inspector Darren Williams said the children had driven 600 miles in the stolen car

The group consisted of a 14-year-old boy, two 13-year-old boys and a 10-year-old girl.

Mr Williams suggested they may have shared the driving, saying: “It’s a long way, in excess of 1,000km from Rockhampton down to Grafton. I couldn’t imagine one person actually driving all that way in two days.”

The children are also accused of not paying for fuel at gas stations in two towns.

They were chased by police in the town of Glen Innes in New South Wales, where one of the 13-year-olds was suspected to be driving.

Mr Williams added: “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.”

The 14-year-old reportedly lived in Grafton, which was thought to be the final destination of the children.

Gladstone, Queensland, Australia - January 3, 2018. View down a steep street in a hilly neighbourhood of Gladstone, toward the Powerhouse, with buildings, electricity poles and cars.
Image:The children drove from Rockhampton in Queensland

Because they cannot be questioned without an adult present, the children have yet to be interviewed by police. Mr Williams said they would be charged, but did not say what with.

The police do not know how the group knew each other, or what they had written in their note when they left Rockhampton.

Drivers in Queensland must be at least 17-years-old before they apply for a licence.



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