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In this May 27, 2013 photo, kangaroos stand on the roadside near Broken Hill, 1,160 kilometers (720 miles) from Sydney, Australia, during a seven-day, 3,000-kilometer (1,900-mile) journey across the Outback. Kangaroos can be a driving hazard, jumping into traffic while they graze close to the roads edge.(AP Photo/Rob Griffith)

A 12-year-old trying to drive across Australia made it 800 miles before police stopped him


A 12-year-old boy took the family car on a joyride across Australia before getting caught after 800 miles, Australian law enforcement said. 

The boy appeared to have gotten in a crash, since his bumper was dragging on the road when police pulled him over. He had made it from Kendall to Broken Hill, roughly an 800-mile journey covering nearly the entire state of New South Wales. 

It was not clear why the boy took the car, police said. Initial reports suggested the boy was trying to drive all the way across Australia.

Not only was the child's life at risk, but all the people he went past and came in contact with.
Kim Fehon, police detective

Police believe he intended to finish the journey alone. Going straight across Australia would be nearly a 2,500-mile road trip. The boy will likely be charged for failing to pay for gas and for driving without a license. His parents reported him missing immediately after he left. He is expected to be returned home Monday.

He looked like a nice person who was maybe 19 or 20. When police told me he was 12 ... I was shocked.
Vamshi Reddy

The boy's appearance may have helped his cause. He stopped for gas at a station in Cobar, and manager Vamshi Reddy said he looked nothing like a preteen.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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