10-year-old thief involved in shootout with police in Colombia

Other News Materials 26 September 2008 23:09 (UTC +04:00)

Colombian police were surprised Friday when they discovered that a thief that was shooting at police officers was a 10-year-old boy who engaged in crime alongside his father, dpa reported.

The incident happened in the city of Cucuta, capital of the Norte de Santander province, near the border with Venezuela, when police were called in to intervene over a burglary at a condominium building.

Colonel Carlos Villadiego, police commander in the province, said a patrol was deployed and found two suspects who were holding hostage a private watchman.

"The person who was pointing a gun at the watchman was a 10-year- old boy, and the person who was at the time stealing property was that child's father," said Villadiego.

When they were discovered, the thieves attacked police and tried to escape, but they were eventually caught.

"The perfect synchronization that father and son had so that one ran while the other covered him shooting at police was striking - a pretty difficult situation for officers, in the knowledge that they were facing a boy," Villadiego explained.

The child was handed over to a state agency that takes care of minors, while his father was arrested