A South Carolina preteen, who struck up a conversation with an adult male on social media, stole a car and drove over 200 miles to meet the man, said cops.
The unidentified 11-year-old boy swiped his brother’s vehicle late Sunday and drove from Simpsonville, S.C. — located in the northeast portion of the state — to the coastal capital of Charleston, reported The Associated Press.
He was en route to meet the man he had been communicating with on Snapchat, a mobile app that automatically deletes messages.
But three hours into his trip, the boy got lost and was forced to ask a cop in a parked car early Monday morning for directions, said Charleston Police spokesman Charles Francis.
The boy’s computer tablet, which had directions to the mystery man’s residence, lost its GPS connection, said cops.
Luckily, police were able to contact the boy’s father, and his family made the long drive to pick him up, reported The State.
The concerned dad, who also has not been identified, was reporting his son missing when he was contacted by Charleston cops, said Francis. The spokesperson also asserted that the tablet was being analyzed.
Charleston police urged parents to teach their children how to safely navigate the internet, noting tips provided by the South Carolina Attorney General. The common-sense points include not being overly critical of a child’s online use as well as discussing the perils of meeting online strangers.