10-year-old boy takes parents’ car to buy soda, leads police on 11-mile chase in Ohio

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FOSTORIA, Ohio – You can’t blame police for being surprised when they saw the driver of a car that led them on a chase over the weekend in Ohio.

After all, a 10-year-old boy was behind the wheel.

Around 7 a.m. Sunday, an officer noticed a car moving erratically with its headlights off. The driver also kept constantly tapping the brakes, according to WTOL.

When the officer tried to pull it over, the car took off at 70 mph. The car then reached an intersection, where it started veering into a lane with oncoming traffic.

“(The driver) almost lost control, almost made a head-on (crash) with a semi tractor trailer, which there are a lot of semi-tractor trailers on U.S. 23 in Fostoria. And then actually hit the curb causing some damage to the tire and the rim, so the car became inoperable,” Fostoria Police Chief Keith Loren told WTOL.

The vehicle came to rest in a parking lot at a Bob Evans. That’s when the officer realized the person behind the wheel was much too young to be there.

The boy had taken his parents’ car without their knowledge. He told police he was going to Circle K to get a soda. He’d driven about 11 miles.

“You know the biggest thing on this is probably, where do you put your car keys? Children have a natural curiosity, I don’t care how old they are,” Loreno said. “They’re going to get into things, every parent knows it, so things like, I mean, it’s no different than putting the cigarette lighter away or the matches. Put them in a different spot and put some protections in there.”

The boy was charged as a juvenile with fleeing from a law enforcement officer. His parents aren’t facing charges, although prosecutors are reviewing the case.