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Chelyabinsk Teenager Takes Tram for Joyride

Police in a Urals town are investigating an incident in which a teenager commandeered an empty tram and safely drove it for almost an hour.

The 15-year-old stumbled upon the empty tram in the town of Zlatoust, in the Chelyabinsk region, while its driver and conductor were out to lunch earlier this month.

Recognizing a chance to realize his dream, he got behind the wheel and took off, news reports said.

The boy drove the tram for about 40 minutes along its normal route, picking up and dropping off passengers along the way. The passengers didn’t even realize the driver was just 15, Gazeta.ru reported. The joyride ended when police switched the tracks, forcing the tram back to the depot, where the boy was apprehended.

“The boy is a real tram-freak,” said Galina Tsoi, an official with the Zlatoustovskoye Tram Service, news site Chelyabinsk.ru reported. “He’s been a regular in our workshops. He’s met all the metalworkers and drivers, learned about how trams work on the Internet. He dreams about working here.”

Commandeering a public vehicle carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison. But given the boy’s age and harmless intentions, he’ll likely get off with less, police official Pavel Pavlov told Chelyabinsk.ru.

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