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A 12-Year-Old Stole His Parents’ Van, Picked Up a Friend and Drove It for 200 Kilometres

It's time we all took preteens seriously.
Photo by Edourd Sepulchre from Mud, Beer and Babies

This article originally appeared on VICE Germany

Here are some skills 12-year-old boys tend to possess: picking their noses, playing with lighters, expressing affection for girls by hitting them on the head instead of saying something nice. Here's something 12-year-old boys don't tend to be capable of: jacking their parents' van, picking up a mate and trucking a good 200 kilometres to visit their grandparents.

But the eastern German state of Saxony is home to a precocious little motorist who did just that. On Thursday night, two sets of parents near the city of Chemnitz alerted the police that their sons were missing. The police report states that "immediate measures were taken by local police and colleagues in Bavaria, confirming the suspicion." The suspicion being that the 12-year-old driver had picked up his 13-year-old mate and headed for Bamberg – a town in the north of neighbouring Bavaria. The two boys arrived safe and sound at the relatives' house after driving about 200 kilometres on the motorway without incident, and after a chat with their parents they were allowed to spend the night at Granny and Grandpa's.

And it's not like the kid just snuck off for a joyride: According to local media, he'd actually told his parents about the plan beforehand. Next time a preteen tells you they're going to do something, believe it.

The tiny car thief was definitely more fortunate than his even younger counterpart in the southwestern German city of Mannheim. A month ago, a dad handed his 10-year-old son his car keys in the parking lot of a furniture store. The boy got in and turned on the ignition. The car, being in first gear, lurched forward and crashed into a parked car. Two women who were inside the parked car were slightly injured in the collision and the dad is now facing charges for allowing his child to play demolition derby in a public parking lot.

Photo by Edourd Sepulchre from Mud, Beer and Babies: Photos of French Cars Smashing the Shit Out of Each Other