Snapchat message prompts boy, 11, to drive car across South Carolina | News Coverage from USA

Snapchat message prompts boy, 11, to drive car across South Carolina

Elizabeth LaFleur

The Greenville News

Published 7:32 AM EDT Sep 25, 2019

GREENVILLE, S.C. — Police in South Carolina say they reunited an 11-year-old boy with his family after he drove about 200 miles overnight. 

According to a release shared to social media by the Charleston Police Department, the boy pulled up next to an officer around 12:30 a.m. Tuesday in downtown Charleston. 

The boy was alone in the vehicle and he told the officer he’d driven by himself from Simpsonville, South Carolina, and became lost when the tablet he was using lost GPS signal, according to the release.

The boy told the officer his name and that he took his brother’s car and drove to Charleston to live with an unknown male he met on Snapchat, the release said. 

The officer was able to connect with the boy’s father who was in the process of reporting him missing to Simpsonville Police, according to the release. 

Simpsonville Police released a statement about the incident Tuesday afternoon.

According to the statement, police responded to a home in Simpsonville around 1:20 a.m. in reference to a missing child and a missing vehicle. 

When police arrived, they learned the missing child had found a key to the family’s vehicle and left in an unknown direction, according to the release. 

Simpsonville police are actively investigating the incident. 

The boy is now back with his family and the tablet was collected for analysis as evidence, according to Charleston police. 

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Due to the child’s age, his name will not be released, according to Simpsonville police. 

The Charleston Police Department also shared a link to a list of internet safety tips for parents and children.

Establish an ongoing dialogue
Explore the internet together as a family
Talk to your child about the risk of meeting “online friends” in person
Snapchat, like other social media sites, has a minimum user age of 13. According to information provided by Snapchat, children under 13 are redirected to an app called SnapKidz.

Underage users sometimes skirt the minimum age by providing an inaccurate birth date at sign on. This gives them open access to share messages, photos and videos with adult users whom they might not know.

SnapKidz does not allow users to add friends or send messages. Instead, their photos are saved to their phone’s camera roll. 

To read a full list of internet safety tips, visit scsafetynet.com.


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