Love Crazed 13-Year-Old Girl Steals Car To See Her 12-Year-Old XBOX Boyfriend

Illustration for article titled Love Crazed 13-Year-Old Girl Steals Car To See Her 12-Year-Old XBOX Boyfriend

Last Thursday, Beth Robinson, 13, of Cypress Texas made it the 800 miles to Nashville in her brother's truck before she was caught by a state trooper.

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Where was she going? To see her 12-year-old boyfriend in Kentucky she met playing XBOX online.

To meet her boyfriend Dylan, Beth took her mother's ATM card, snuck out, stole her brother's car, and set off on the 920 mile trip to Hodgenville, KY. The next morning her parents discovered her gone, called the police, and her father drove off after her.

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The authorities put out an amber alert and tracked Beth's movements with her ATM card. That's how Trooper Dwayne Stanford anticipated she would pass by him on Thursday night. Indeed, Stanford saw her pass by and pulled her over. Her mother told KHOU 11 News that she was still intent on meeting her boyfriend.

She was scared. She was nervous. She was still explaining to them that she was trying to get to Hodgenville, Kentucky to see this little boy, Dylan.

Beth's father, hoping to settle the matter once and for all, drove Beth all the way to Hodgenville, but the two were unable to find Dylan's house. Unlike the girlfriend who drunkenly stole a school bus after a breakup or the astronaut who hunted down an ex in a diaper, Beth is not facing any charges for her lovestruck road trip.

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Photo Credit: Robinson Family via KHOU 11 News

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DISCUSSION

Well, now that we've had our laugh at the Texas Family Robinsons, let's take a step back for a moment, shall we?

I am somewhat disappointed with both the reporting and the commentary on this story. This is a child. A child who did something foolish and dangerous, but a child nonetheless. To compare her to a woman who got drunk and stole a bus or a woman who had a complete mental breakdown is more than a little unfair, and certainly uncalled for. There is nothing remotely similar about any of those instances. In the case of the bus thief, it was a fit of drunken stupidity. In the case of the astronaut, it was a complete mental breakdown brought on by a number of factors, some she had control over, and some she didn't.

But in the case of this little girl, she's a child that did something impulsive without understanding the potential consequences of her actions. Guess what? That's what children do. All the goddamn time. This was certainly a pretty extreme case of it, to be sure, but she meant no harm, and didn't understand that her actions could potentially cause harm. Parading her and her story in front of the global media and shaming her for her actions is not an appropriate way to deal with the situation. She has a lot of growing up to do, and it's not going to be an easy process, particularly in her case. There's no reason to shame her on national news and destroy what little self-confidence that she may have and will need in order to mature.

But hey, if it's fair to shame a child for doing something foolish, and, dare I say, childish, the least that the media can do is apply that equally. Where is the shame for the little boy, who did something equally childish by giving his address out to a stranger online? In the best case scenario, he meant no harm by doing so and wanted to meet a friend, but accidentally gave a wrong address. In the worst case scenario, he intentionally gave an incorrect address as a prank. In either case, his actions were also childish. Should we not be reporting on his childish behavior, and laughing at and shaming him for it?

Of course not. Regardless of his intentions in the matter, it seems pretty clear to me that he didn't have a clear understanding of the potential harm that his actions might cause. He is simply a child that did something childish and foolish, as children are wont to do. The same goes for this little girl. It's far from the first time something like this has happened, and it sure as shit won't be the last.

I reiterate: This is a child. Children do stupid things, often because they simply don't understand that what they are doing has consequences. While the kid needs some help understanding a few things, it's not fair to put her name and photograph on the front page and try to make an internet meme out of her simply because she is a child that did something childish (albeit quite an extreme example of it).

Seriously, was a story about a child doing something childish and foolish really worth taking the place of title story on a car blog from a story that actually contained automotive industry-related news and discussion?