Russian teen takes tram on joy ride

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A 15-year-old boy stole a tram in the Russian Urals town of Zlatoust and picked up and dropped off passengers for around 40 minutes before being caught, police said on Friday.

The teen from the small industrial town in the Ural mountains took the tram for a ride after spotting the empty vehicle parked on a side track earlier this month, Pavel Pavlov, a senior police official in Zlatoust, told AFP.

He then travelled several kilometers (miles) along the tram's route, picking up and dropping off passengers, said Pavlov, adding the youth is believed to have a keen interest in trams and must have learnt to operate them.

"You have to have special knowledge to be able to run them," Pavlov told AFP, adding that the teen did not cause any accidents and no one was hurt.

Police opened an investigation into the incident.

The offence of taking a vehicle could be punished by up to five years in prison.

But Pavlov said the teen was unlikely to face any jail time because of his young age and lack of previous convictions or malicious intent.

"He was not detained and is continuing his school studies," said Pavlov.

© 2011 AFP

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