Four children, including a 10-year-old, have been found safe and well in NSW after allegedly stealing a four-wheel drive in central Queensland and taking it on a wild joyride.
A 2004 Nissan Patrol, which police believe was carrying a 14-year-old boy, two 13-year-old boys and a 10-year-old girl, traveled some almost 1000 kilometres before being spotted in Glen Innes, more than an hour’s drive over the NSW border.
The group allegedly took the vehicle, which belonged to the father of one of the children, along with fishing rods and money and drove from Gracemere in the Rockhampton region, on Saturday, to Glen Innes non-stop.
Police were alerted after the family of one the children found a note, indicating he was leaving.
The 4WD was seen at the Puma Service Station in Banana, about 115kms south from Gracemere, at 4.45am on Sunday where it filled up with petrol before driving off without paying.
A service station attendant, who asked not be identified, said the driver of the vehicle “drove in like normal”.
“You can see the bloke get out of the car and start filling it up,” the attendant, who reviewed CCTV footage of the incident, said.
“He is really short. Look he barely even reaches the window.
“Then he just sorted himself out, got back in the car and drove off.
“No one else got out of the car but it looked like he was talking to someone else.”
The vehicle was then spotted across the NSW border near Glen Innes in the afternoon.
On early Monday morning, police, who appealed for public assistance to find the children, announced the children had been located in Grafton.
“The four missing Queensland children subject to an urgent appeal for public assistance yesterday afternoon, have been located in safe NSW,” they said.
“Thanks for sharing the information.”