Dutch boy, 4, takes mother's car for a joyride

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Police officer holds the boyImage source, Police Utrecht North

A four-year-old boy could have a future in Formula One after taking his mum's car for a drive in the Netherlands.

Police in the central city of Utrecht said the child crashed into two parked cars on Saturday, before leaving the scene in his pyjamas and bare feet.

Concerned bystanders called police after spotting him walking down the street alone in the cold.

No one was hurt during his escapade, with police saying on Instagram they had discovered a "new Max Verstappen".

Police wrote that the child had woken up on Saturday when his father went to work, and taken his mother's car keys "to go for a drive".

After officers were called to pick him up, a report came in of an abandoned vehicle near-by, which appeared to have hit two parked cars.

It was registered to the boy's mother, the force said, and officers called her. Handing over the phone to the youngster, police said he mimicked driving and made gestures of turning a steering wheel.

"We then realised that the child may have been the driver," the Instagram post continued.

Image source, Police Utrecht North

The four-year-old was given some hot chocolate at the police station and a teddy bear, before being reunited with his mum.

Together, they went to the crash scene, where he was asked if he could show how the car worked.

The child - described by his mother as "resourceful" - opened the car with the key, put it into the ignition and moved his foot to the clutch and gas pedals, police said.

Officers urged the parents to hide their car keys in the future,

"New Max Verstappen found in (the Utrecht suburb of) Overvecht," police wrote in the post - a reference to the current Dutch world champion Formula One driver.

"Fortunately, this mini driver's adventure has come to an end with a sizzle," police added.

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