by Nancy Amons
A Tennessee police officer was caught off guard this week after what he found in the driver's seat of a car.
Police in the town of LaVergne said a Chevrolet Cavalier was zooming through a residential neighborhood at 70 mph at a time when the streets are full of children getting off the school bus.
An officer's camera caught the action on tape, but he said he never guessed that a 12-year-old was inside.
"He thought he was pursuing a felony suspect. The vehicle had dark tinted windows. He had no idea there was a child behind the wheel," said LaVergne Police Corporal. Chris Goins. "To my knowledge, it's the youngest driver we've ever had to pursue."
Officials said the boy slipped out of the house and stole his mother's car.
There was also a 6-year-old in the passenger's seat, police said.
"They were brothers, admitted to taking mom's car while she was at work," Goins said.
Neighborhood children said the 12- and 6-year-old, who had been left in the care of their grandmother, had been driving around for a week.
The 12-year-old faces felony charges.
"If your children are being left alone, please put your car keys up. Keep an eye on them," Goins said.
The young driver is charged with driving without a license, reckless endangerment and not wearing a seat belt.