10-Year-Old Steals Van & Crashes Into Things, But He Shouldn't Be Blamed (VIDEO)

vanPolice are claiming that a 10-year-old boy stole a van, crashed it into a five parked cars, then attempted to flee. The van was parked on a street in Philadelphia, unloading furniture, when the boy allegedly hopped into the car and took off. Investigators are saying that this isn't the first time the boy has gotten into trouble, claiming he had a history with police, but was too young to arrest for previous offenses. The boy was charged with theft and criminal mischief, was held at a detention center after the incident, and appeared before a judge Monday morning.

Hmm ... charging a 10-year-old with theft and criminal mischief? Perhaps the parents are the ones who ought to be charged.

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Lisa Jones, a woman whose car was struck by the boy, is saying that she'd like his parents to pay the $500 deductible. She stated: "If it was my kid I would pay it. I would pay it because it's wrong." She continued: "I mean, 10 years old! He's going to need some kind of help. From my understanding it's not the first time he's been in trouble."

Jones raises an interesting point, having the boy's parents pay the deductible. I sort of agree. I mean, this woman's parked car was hit by their child. No, the other person involved in the accident doesn't typically pay the deductible, but this case is sort of different. Because the person who caused the accident is 10.

I think it goes without saying that this child needs help more than punishment. But what if parents were the ones punished in these situations? Kind of like that law that holds parents accountable if drinking goes on at their home -- with or without their knowledge.

Am I going to start a petition to turn this into a law? Um, no. But it -- or something like it -- is an interesting concept. Of course, it would be unreasonable for parents to get arrested if their kid steals something on one occasion. But if a child repeatedly breaks the law, perhaps putting some of the legal onus on his or her caretakers would incite them to try to instill good behavior. Or at least legal behavior.

Obviously, there would be exceptions -- I'm not saying any time a kid gets into trouble more than once, the parents should be thrown in jail. Some kids need professional help outside of their parents. I totally understand that.

Details about the 10-year-old's family life and history remain sparse, so it's hard to weigh in on his parents and what their role in his life is, but hopefully they'll do something to try to help their son out -- be it send him to a therapist, or really make an effort to set a good example. I'm going to have faith that they will, but I'm just saying, if they were threatened with some sort of punishment, I'd have even more faith.

What do you think should happen to this boy? What would you do if it were your kid?

 

Image via Draco2008/Flickr

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