One of the biggest empty threats a child can make is running away from home. Sometimes it’s even encouraged by parents knowing the worst of it may be a walk down the block to retrieve their offspring, blanket and teddy bear in hand. This twelve year old on the other hand was not bluffing and turned running away from home into driving away, very far away.
Friday Morning around 11 am, a brave and most likely grounded for life preteen took off in his parents Hyundai Sante Fe with the city of Perth in his mind. This wouldn’t be totally crazy if Perth wasn’t 2,500 miles away from his small town of Kendal on Australia’s eastern coast. Although he didn’t make it all the way to the promise land, he was able to cover 800 miles before being pulled over for having a bumper dragging on the road.
Detective Inspector Kim Fehon stated, “His parents reported him missing immediately after he left home, so they were looking for him,”
The confidence that he would make it 2,500 miles let alone out of his town came from the fact that this twelve year old didn’t exactly look his age. After the child stole $19 worth of fuel, Vamshi Reddy a Caltex service station manager stated, “When I saw him, he looked like a nice person who was maybe 19 or 20.” Considering that most of his trip was on the open road in low traffic areas, it makes perfect sense he got that far. Take away the dragging bumper and this boy would have likely gone much farther.
Luckily for all parties involved, this kid didn’t get any further and no one was hurt. If he had continued, he would have driven through the Nullarbor Plain. It’s recommended folks bring extra food, water and gas through this hot desert stretch as resting areas and fuel is hard to come by. Seeing as how he didn’t have any money, this would have surely ended badly.
The child was arrested and charged with illegal use of a car, unlicensed driving and failing to pay for his gas, according to news.com.au, and will likely be charged under the Young offenders act. The boy and his parent are reunited now. Oh to be a fly on a window of that Sante Fe for the trip back home.