© Photograph: Pedro Armestre/AFP/Getty Images
The Spanish civil guard later dismissed the schoolboy's fake kidnap claims as a childish prank.
Police officer's 11-year-old son, who claimed he was being driven away in boot of car, was found hiding in family home.

It was both dramatic and creative - but it was also one of the most over-the-top solutions ever invented for avoiding that well-known childhood nightmare, when parents are called in to talk to their teachers.

Early on Monday afternoon the unnamed 11-year-old son of a Spanish police officer stationed in the north-western town of Xinzo de Limia sent a text message from his mobile phone to tell his father he had been kidnapped.

When his father phoned back, the boy confirmed the worst. He had been snatched off the street as he was putting out the rubbish, he said, and was locked in the boot of a car. He had no idea where his kidnappers were taking him, but knew that the car he was in was a blue Seat.

The worried father told his commanders and, as the news was relayed around civil guard barracks across the province of Ourense, his colleagues hurriedly set up roadblocks. A nationwide alert was released in case the vehicle had left the province.

Police in neighbouring Portugal were also informed amid worries that the boy's kidnappers may have fled across the border.

Local newspapers flashed the news on their websites and ran photographs of heavily armed police manning roadblocks.

It was only two hours later that the boy's father noticed the keys to a spare flat owned by the family were missing.

The child was soon discovered there and reportedly explained that he had been terrified by the prospect of his parents going to school to speak to his teachers.

"The civil guard attributed the false alarm to a childish 'prank' that had something to do with the boy's situation at school," the local Faro de Vigo newspaper reported.

"The child's poor school scores in recent weeks appear to explain a form of behaviour that no one in Xinzo could understand," said the Voz de Galicia newspaper. "He and his parents were due to meet his class tutor that afternoon."

They did not report on whether that meeting had now been cancelled - or merely delayed.