A Whangarei teenager accused of unlawfully taking a truck and driving it around absconded from the care of Child, Youth and Family.

The 16-year-old was arrested just south of Whangarei late last month after he allegedly slipped into Mainfreight's Otahuhu depot and drove off in a Scania truck after its driver left the keys in the vehicle.

He's facing one charge of unlawfully taking a motor vehicle and one of burglary.

He first appeared in the Youth Court at Whangarei on Thursday last week and was remanded in CYF's custody.

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While waiting to be flown from Auckland to Rotorua that day he did a runner and Judge Keith de Ridder yesterday issued a warrant for his arrest.