11-Year-Old Girl Takes 500-Mile Cab Ride to See Boy She Met on Vacation

taxiParents have to keep an eye on their kids, right? Right. But we cannot monitor their every move, every single second of the day. This is partly where I think the saying "it takes a village to raise a child" comes in -- with family, friends, and members of the community looking out for things that don't seem right or if a kid is in trouble or up to something they aren't supposed to be doing. But 11-year-old Alexis Waller from Arkansas got real clever and found a way to dupe almost everyone on the day she decided to take a cab to Florida to meet up with a 16-year-old boy. First thing she did was steal $10,000.

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The money was in her grandmother's sock drawer, and Waller took it in the middle of the night after talking on the phone with a boy she met on vacation while in Florida two years ago. (No more phones! No more Internet! That's it, kids!)

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Waller walked to a gas station in Bryant, Arkansas, and that's where she hitchhiked a ride to Little Rock. She's 11! My heart is racing thinking of what could have happened. But she made it to Little Rock and from there called a taxi to take her to Jacksonville, Florida. Waller said of the cab driver:

... he just asked me where I needed to go. I said I need to go to Jacksonville, Florida. He’s like do you have money and I’m like yes.

How does a cab driver say yes to an 11-year-old wanting to take a taxi so far away? I'll tell you how -- Waller duped him, too. She reportedly was wearing a lot of makeup and appeared to look much older. Waller's parents thought the worst when they discovered her missing in the morning and called the police who were able to track her down with cellphone records, which showed her call to the taxi. Thank goodness. Waller now says she "knew she made a mistake." She was nearly to Atlanta when they found her. 

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Her parents drove nine hours to pick her up and said they were upset with her but also relieved. Her father Brent said:

At the same time you have the rest of your life to punish her and you just want to hug her and just love her because you got her back and that’s what’s important.

The Waller family said they want to push for laws that taxi drivers can't take someone who might be a minor across state lines. Sounds like a good law, but I think the first line of defense has to be with this child to know better and not steal $10,000 from grandma and then take a $1,300 cab ride to some boy's house four states away. I still can't get over the fact that she is 11 years old. At 11, I was playing with Barbies. I was more worried about if I was going to be able to watch the Smurfs when I got home from school than seeing some boy. Have the younger generations really changed that much? Is it because of all the technology? I hope Alexis truly learned how dangerous this was -- and that she never does it again. Grandma has forgiven her for stealing the cash by the way, and maybe grams should put what's left in the bank.

Do you think kids today are growing up too fast?

 

Image via Kevin Dooley/Flickr

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