CANBERRA, Australia – Four children, ages 10 to 14 years old, caught with fishing rods in a parent's SUV, left a farewell letter and drove more than 600 miles along the Australian east coast before being stopped by the police the next day an official said on Monday.
When the children were stopped by the police near Grafton, New South Wales, at 10:40 pm Sunday, they locked the doors and refused to get out, said acting police inspector Darren Williams.
A police officer used a baton to break a window on the Nissan patrol that had been reported stolen, Williams said.
MAN FISHING WITH AN ATTACHED SOLID SNAIL
Police were not sure which child or kids were driving or why they left Rockhampton, Queensland on Saturday. The children are a 14-year-old boy, two 13-year-old boys and a 10-year-old girl.
Williams said they might have shared driving.
"It's a long way, more than 600 miles from Rockhampton to Grafton. I could not imagine a person actually going that far in two days, "Williams told reporters.
The children are suspected of not paying petrol at petrol stations in two cities.
So did Williams, who was persecuted by police in the town of Glen Innes, New South Wales, where a 13-year-old probably drove.
"There was a brief persecution with the Highway Patrol up there due to the age of the driver and the road conditions that were quit by the highway patrol police … and the general policemen involved," he said.
The 14-year-old lived in Grafton, which may have been targeting children, Williams said.
The police have not interviewed the children because they can not be interviewed without the presence of a parent or legal guardian. Williams said that they will be charged, but did not list the alleged crimes.
Williams did not know if the children were related or how they knew each other.
He did not know what the children had written in the note about it was left in Rockhampton.
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In New South Wales, the schools are closed for the summer vacation, while school holidays in Queensland ended on Monday.
Drivers must be at least 17 years old in Queensland to apply for a license.