A four-year-old boy in Sweden has shown a worrying propensity for grand theft auto – by stealing his mother’s car keys while she slept and driving off in the vehicle.

The audacious crime took place in Garsna, in the south of the country, last week – and fortunately, no one was hurt.

The mother only found out what happened when a local shopkeeper turned up at the house with her son following his dramatic drive.

The mother told the local Ystads Allehanda newspaper: “When she explained that my son had been out driving the car I thought it was a terrible joke at first. I couldn’t believe it was true.”

It transpired that the boy managed to make three right turns over about half a kilometre before he crashed into a pick-up truck.

“I have no idea how he managed, he’s never driven a car before,” the mother added.

Policeman Lars-Bertil Mårtensson described the incident as “quite a feat”.