It occured during a four hour span on Tuesday August 7 2007, in Hawkeye, Iowa. Police found not one, not two but six cars smashed into street signs or driven into ditches just outside of town.
The cars all had their seats pulled forward, all the way to the steering wheel and all apparently, had been left with their keys in them. When the authorities came upon the twelve year-old boy walking on a gravel road, they had their answer to the sudden crime spree. He told the deputies that he was running away from a foster home and that he didn't want to go back there.
He was taken to the hospital and treated for minor injuries and then to a youth shelter in Waterloo. He also has been charged with six counts of operating a motor vehicle without the owner's consent, six counts of driving without a license, burglary and other driving violations.
It would seem that the days of packing your things in a blanket and hanging it from a stick when running away, are long gone. I would hazard a guess as well, that this young man discovered that driving a real car is a lot more difficult than it is in video games.