A NINE-year old boy burgled a house before rifling through drawers and stealing cash and two sets of car keys.
The keys were used to steal a high-powered car which moments later smashed into a parked vehicle in a nearby street.
Police are now investigating whether the same youngster was behind the wheel at the time of the crash.
But he will amazingly escape punishment as he is under the age of criminality.
The youngster was caught by police when he returned to the house to pick up his bike which he had left in the garden before he carried out the burglary.
The incident happened in the King Oswy area of Hartlepool at around 5pm last Thursday, with the boy sneaking into the house while another nine-year old and his grandmother were sitting downstairs.
The intruder escaped through a back door after being disturbed, and minutes later the Astra 1.6 Turbo car was spotted being driven down the street.
After driving a few hundred yards, round a corner and over a speed bump, it is believed another vehicle had to swerve to avoid the stolen car which eventually crashed into a parked car.
The victim of the burglary did not wish to be identified, but told the Mail he is angry that the boy cannot be dealt with by the police.
He said: “It is unbelievable what has happened, but it doesn’t look like anything will happen apart from probably a slap on the wrists.
“He has made his way into my house and gone through the drawers. There was £55 in cash which hasn’t been recovered, and the car keys were actually spare sets which we have in case of emergency.
“It wasn’t as if they were lying about in the kitchen or on a table, they were hidden away in a drawer.
“Hundreds of pounds worth of damage has been caused to my car, and the vehicle which he crashed into is in an even worse state that mine.
“The police have been in touch saying their investigation is on-going, so I’m waiting to see what happens next.”
A Cleveland Police spokeswoman said: “Police were called at around 4.45pm on May 16 to reports and that a red Vauxhall Astra had been stolen from an address and had collided soon after with a White Renault Megane that was parked nearby.
“A nine-year-old boy has admitted taking the keys from the property and police are continuing to make enquiries to identify who was driving the stolen car.”