Police who found the three boys who went missing four days ago said there may have been a plan to "spirit them out of the country."
They failed to return to their foster carers' home in Sunderland, after setting out on a tea-time bike ride to a local park.
Instead, they caught a Metro to Newcastle, then took a pre-booked taxi to London and spent two nights in the capital before heading for Birmingham.
Superintendent Alan Veitch, who led the major investigation to find them, said it was "entirely possible" that the plan was to get the boys out of the country.
More top news
Vera Robinson MBE has died at the age of 101. She had been a fundraiser for the Redcar RNLI lifeboat station since she was 16 years old.
Provisional statistics for July show it was a cool and wet month for many of us.
With just 49 days until the start of the Rugby World Cup, the Webb Ellis Cup is touring our region.