A quartet of Australian children, one as young as 10 years old, went on a nearly 600-mile joyride before being found safe Sunday, local media reported.
A 14-year-old boy, two 13-year-old boys and a 10-year-old girl had been reported missing Saturday evening after they allegedly took one of their family member’s SUVs, ABC and 9 News in Australia reported.
The four children were not all related, police said, but they drove from Gracemere in central Queensland all the way down to a highway near Jackadgery in New South Wales, ABC reported.
The drive would take more than 10 hours without stops. “It’s a pretty big journey. It’s a long way for a person to do it, but I suppose a couple cans of Red Bull and you’re likely to do anything,” Inspector Darren Williams told 9 News.
Police say one of the boys left a note for his family to say he was leaving. The group allegedly stole fuel along the way, and later were spotted at another gas station in Glen Innes.
According to ABC, authorities initially tried to chase their vehicle, but called it off because of their age.
Bear takes car for joyride: A ‘delinquent’ bear climbed into a car and ‘butt-shifted’ it into neutral. The joyride didn’t end well
Traffic stop: Rattlesnake, uranium, and whiskey found in stolen car during Oklahoma traffic stop
Late Sunday, the car was found parked on the side of a highway.
“The children were directed to open the doors to the vehicles (but) they’ve locked themselves in the car and police have had to use a baton to get into the vehicle to arrest them,” Williams told ABC.
Williams told the broadcaster he believes the children traded off driving duties along the way, and were heading toward Grafton, where the eldest boy lived.
At least one of the children had been released to their families while three others remained in the country’s child protective services’ custody, 9 News reported.
Police said the father who owned the car would fly down to New South Wales to get the car and his child, per ABC.
Authorities said they will interview the children further before determining if any charges will be pressed.
Follow USA TODAY’s Ryan Miller on Twitter @RyanW_Miller
Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2019/07/15/children-steal-family-car-joyride-nearly-600-miles-australia/1734670001/