Thursday, 19 September, 2019

Four Queensland children drive 900km after leaving goodbye note

Queensland police search for four children as young as 10 Four children drive from Gracemere to Glen Innes after taking fishing rods and leaving a note
Patty Aguilar | 15 July, 2019, 14:24

Four children aged 10 to 14 packed fishing rods in a parent's SUV, left a farewell note then drove more than 1,000 kilometres (600 miles) down the Australian east coast before they were stopped by police the next day.

The three boys and a girl - all aged 10-14 - were discovered safe in the New South Wales town of Grafton on Sunday.

Queensland Police confirmed the children involved were not related.

Queensland police said the auto was spotted early on Sunday morning in the outback town of Banana, where the kids allegedly stole petrol, before travelling south.

One of the 13-year-old boys was found in the driver's seat but A/Insp Williams believe the children took turns to drive.

But they only made it 140km before they needed fuel and allegedly stole a tank of petrol from a service station in the Queensland town of Banana around dawn on Sunday.

"He is really short". Look he barely even reaches the window.

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Speaking to the media in Coffs Harbour this morning, Coffs/Clarence Acting Inspector Darren Williams said police tracked down the location of the children through one of their mobile phones.

When police located the children at Jackadgery they locked themselves in the vehicle, and officers were required to force their way in.

"They have locked themselves in the auto and police have had to use a batten to get in to arrest them", Coffs-Clarence district acting inspector Darren Williams told reporters.

Insp Williams said the group had most likely shared the driving.

"It's a pretty big journey, and a long way for a young person", he said.

Police said they would question the children once their parents were present.

The minimum age to apply for a driving license in Queensland is 17.

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