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By Kyle Zeeman

Digital News Editor

10-year-old driver caught after ‘running away from home’ because his devices were taken

The pair were on their way to California, a 40-hour trip by car.

A 10-year-old and his sister, reportedly angry that their mom had taken away their gadgets, took her car and ran away from home, with the young boy behind the wheel.

Police in Florida, USA, stopped the car in the early hours of Thursday morning because it had been reported stolen in a town about three hours away.

According to People US, the pair were on their way to California, a 40-hour trip by car.

ALSO READ: Number of missing and runaway teenagers on the rise

The BBC quoted police as saying “both children were upset with their mother because she took away their electronic devices, which is believed to have been done because they were not using them appropriately”.

They added there was no evidence they were being mistreated.

“Our detectives did speak with their mother at length who was clearly doing her best to raise two young children and she was very receptive to the recommendations they provided in helping her get assistance.”

Spokesperson Josh Taylor told USA Today the mother called the police after realising late on Wednesday night her car, children and some of their clothes were missing. No charges were laid.

Are runaways common in SA?

While many children have threatened to run away from home, do many follow through on the threat?

ALSO READ: Teenagers and mental health: How to help them protect it

Experts told The Citizen last year there was an increase in the number of missing teenagers, not always because of rebellion.

“It seems to happen in spurts. The interesting thing is, teens might have been misbehaving when they ran away, but the point is, they are putting themselves in harm’s way because from the moment they are out there, they are vulnerable,” said Pink Ladies founder Jacqui Thomas.

She said the disruptions to life brought by the Covid pandemic had left many teens and children unable to cope.

“These past 2 and half years, children have been kept away from school, friends and teachers who they are used to. They are also not participating in sports like before.

“If, suddenly, all these things are taken away from them, what do they have left?”

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