Weekend closures, lane restrictions impact SR 99, I-5 and I-90

UPDATE: 11-year-old girl steals $10,000, takes cab cross country

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BRYANT, Arkansas (CNN) – An 11-year-old girl from central Arkansas hopped in a cab and made it half way to Florida before police tracked her down.

Now the family is asking why the driver took more than $1,000 in cash and didn’t ask any questions.

When family members woke to find 11-year-old Alexis Waller gone, there were terrified.

“You always just, you know, think the worst,” Brent Waller, father said. “Just thought some guy had come and scooped her up.”

Alexis swiped $10,000 cash from her grandmother’s sock drawer. In the middle of the night, she snuck out, walked to a Bryant gas station and hitched a ride from a stranger to Little Rock, Ark.

From there she called a taxi.

“He didn’t really ask anything, he just asked me where I needed to go,” Alexis said of the cab driver.

She wanted to go see a boy she met on vacation and kept in touch with over the last two years.

“I said I need to go to Jacksonville, Fla.,” she said. “He’s like, ‘Do you have money?’ and I’m like, ‘yes.’”

When Bryant police got a frantic call from the parents, they dropped everything and began a search.

After obtaining cell phone records, police discovered Alexis’ call to the cab company. Soon they were on the phone with the driver who told them they were just outside Atlanta.

“I’m actually glad I got found ’cause I knew I made a mistake after a while, and I didn’t have a phone,” Alexis said.

Her parents drove nine hours through the night to pick her up — when they finally laid eyes on her they were angry but also relieved.

“At the same time you have the rest of your life to punish her, and you just want to hug her and just love her because you got her back and that’s what’s important,” Brent Waller said.

The family credits the Bryant Police Department for its work tracking Alexis down.

They got the report around eight in the morning and had her cab surrounded by Georgia State Police before noon.

Little Rock police say the cab driver didn’t break any laws because he doesn’t appear to have had any ill intentions.

The Waller family is promising to push for law changes to force cab drivers to ask for identification — especially if they’re going to transport someone who may be a minor across state lines.

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7 comments

  • trisha

    At some point common sense would kick in, but apparently not. I’ve put a strict rule in my cab companies contract that we do not transport anyone under 18 with a parent or consent from the parent. It protects the driver and the company.

  • Lawrence Beerbower

    I mean really this cab driver should have thought it odd of a little girl traveling that far without a parent via cab and paying cash. My first thought would have been how did this little girl happen to have that kind of money?
    An why is she traveling alone. He should have asked her if her parent knew where she was and had her call home first to get an okay. That is just common sense.

    • patti

      No body knows what kind of parents she had. If she was sneaky enough to steal her Grandmothers money and sneak out of the house, she could just be a narcissistic pre teen girl, who only cares what she wants, and cant fathom consequences. I think some kids just are like that, no matter what. It could be poor parenting, but we dont know that family and we shouldnt just assume. The issue of the cab driver is a complete different issue. He should have asked questions about taking a young girl, alone, accross the country who has $1000.00 cash. Common sense. He also opened himself up to all kinds of alegations against him while being alone all those miles with a young girl.

  • S_Hunter

    She’s crossing state lines to see a BOY at 11???? GET HER ON BIRTH CONTROL BEFORE SHE STARTS OTHER “ADULT” ROUTINES! (provided she hasn’t ALREADY started)