When we were kids, we would have done anything to get our hands on some cold, hard (or soft, melted) candy, but stealing a family car to make a sugar run? Even we weren’t crafty enough to pull off a heist of that magnitude—or maybe we just didn’t have the right tools.
Jenna Swenson says her four-year-old son, Sebastian, swiped the keys to his great grandfather’s Hyundai Santa Fe and drove it a mile and a half away in search of sugary bliss.
“Panic, anxiety,” she recalled. “A little of almost all the emotions going on…trying to calculate what happened.”
Using great grandpa Roy’s walker, KMSP Fox 9 says Sebastian grabbed the keys from a wall hook and waited to make his escape.
When no one was watching, the boy allegedly snuck outside, hopped into the driver’s seat—stretching his legs as far as they could go—and backed out of the driveway. Then, after making his way through winding streets in the neighborhood, police say Sebastian took a left turn onto a four-lane road during morning rush hour.
Soon after, witnesses reported seeing the SUV driving erratically (at approximately 10-15 mph) down University Avenue before safely pulling into a gas station parking lot.
“I’ve never seen a driver this young before operating a vehicle,” said Capt. Mark Boerboom with the Blaine Police Department.
Despite hitting a few bumps, mailboxes and a small tree, Becker says it could have been so much worse. “He could’ve hit a car. He wasn’t wearing a seatbelt. We could be talking about a funeral.”
The family, still reeling over what happened, says they plan to lock up their keys moving forward and keep a closer eye on Sebastian.
“He watches everything people do,” said Becker. It’s only a matter of time before he tries it again.