Nine-Year-Old, A Repeat Car Thief, Sneaks On Board Plane

Lakewood, Wash. (AP) -- How did a nine-year-old boy sneak onto a plane for Texas? Southwest Airlines says it's looking into it.

Police in Lakewood, Washington, say the boy, Semaj Booker, has a history of stealing cars and running away from home. He was apparently trying to get to Dallas, where his grandfather lives, and where the boy himself used to live. But he came up short Tuesday, only getting as far as San Antonio after hopping two separate flights.

Police say he apparently found a Southwest Airlines boarding card and made it through airport security.

The fourth-grader is in juvenile custody today in San Antonio.

He'd been unhappy since his family moved to Lakewood, near Tacoma.

Police say the boy had stolen a car on Sunday after it was left running outside a neighbor's house. He was spotted by police and chased at up to 90 miles an hour until the engine blew and the car coasted into a tree.

His mother says he also crashed a stolen car last month in Tacoma, and was recently caught in Seattle in a stolen car.

She thinks he learned how to drive from playing video games.

Copyright 2007 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.


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