Stillwater police: 10-year-old took van to get Cheerios while parents were sleeping

An ambitious Stillwater boy got himself into a bit of trouble Sunday night after taking his family’s van to pick up some cereal while his parents were sleeping.

Stillwater police said an officer was on routine patrol at 9:38 p.m. Sunday when he saw a tan Chrysler minivan heading south on Second Street North toward Mulberry Street. The officer turned to drive past the van after seeing it stop in the middle of the street and saw a 10-year-old boy sitting in the driver’s seat.

The officer turned around and activated his squad’s emergency lights but the van continued southbound, blowing through a stop sign before turning right onto Chestnut Street and then right onto Third Street. The van then rapidly accelerated, going around 50 mph, according to the officer, who discontinued his pursuit for safety reasons but continued tracking the van.

Eventually, the van went through an intersection in reverse and went up an embankment into the front yard of a residence on Third Street. The officer then pulled in front of the van and blocked it with his squad car, a police report states.

The officer then told the boy to unlock the van and promptly placed him in the back seat of his squad car. That’s when the boy told the officer his dad wanted him to have cereal before going to school in the morning, so he sent the boy to buy Cheerios at the store. The officer, thinking it was unusual, asked the boy if his father was intoxicated and the boy confirmed that to be the case.

However, when the officer took the boy home, the officer found the boy’s parents had been asleep and there were no signs of intoxication. The boy then admitted he’d just left home without his parents’ knowledge to go to the store.

The parents reported some minor damage to the side of the van but no injuries were reported.