NYC kids, 12 and 7, take SUV on 100-mile joyride, stop for cookies
A social media challenge may be why a 12-year-old boy from Queens, New York, took his parents’ luxury SUV for a joyride more than 100 miles long across state lines Monday.
The boy and his 7-year-old cousin, who was in the passenger seat, are back home tonight after police from New Jersey and New York spent the day tracking them down, CBS2’s Lisa Rozner reported.
The joyride lasted five hours, with the boy behind the wheel of a white Range Rover that police said he drove from his home on 115th Street in South Ozone Park to nearly the Delaware border.
Police were alerted around 9 a.m. and said surveillance video showed the cousins leaving in the vehicle.
E-ZPass and license plate readers tracked them crossing the Verrazzano Bridge into New Jersey around 11 a.m.
State troopers used flashing sirens, but the boy allegedly sped off. Police eased off the pursuit for the safety of the children, CBS2’s Natalie Duddridge reported.
At 2:15 p.m., the NYPD says the boy tried using his dad’s credit card to buy cookies at a rest stop near the New Jersey-Delaware border. The kids managed to avoid getting into an accident and were taken into custody shortly after.
They were brought to the NYPD’s 106th precinct Monday night.
Outside, the little girl said: “Yeah, it was good. I wish I was driving.”
“He drove good?” an officer asked.
“Yeah,” she replied.
“You had a good time?” the officer asked.
“Yeah,” she said.
The children were released to their family and taken home. Police said no one will face any charges.
“The kids are OK. They’re OK,” said Joe Gangaram, the boy’s uncle. “I thank the precinct for doing a good job. Everybody’s fine.”
Rozner asked how the boy learned to drive, but Gangaram would not answer.
Neighbors were incredulous and said they’ve never seen the boy drive, and that he’s usually supervised.
“He’s a very nice kid. I’ve seen him. He just sits there at home with his family,” said Muhammad Irfan. “I’m very happy that he’s back.”
“First of all, that’s very brave to get behind a car at 12. Not sure what’s going on, maybe some family issues, I don’t know what it is. If it’s a joyride that’s not safe at all,” said Justin Kellman.
“Everyone gets a temptation at that age to do something crazy. You just hope as a parent they don’t hurt themselves or anyone else,” said Lawrence Keyser.
Police sources say the boy told law enforcement this was part of a social media challenge to drive a vehicle until it runs out of gas.
Even though the children traveled through New Jersey, ultimately they crossed into Delaware and were taken into custody by the Delaware River and Bay Authority police.