"It's loaded," the boy screamed as he pointed the weapon toward gobsmacked adults who watched as the 9-year-old tried to break into a car parked near a block of flats in the Gothenburg suburb of Kortedala.
The boy then abandoned his first theft attempt before moving on to another nearby car into which he gained entry before speeding off, nearly running over a gardener who was working in the vicinity, the Aftonbladet newspaper reported.
However, the vehicle with which the 9-year-old hoped to flee the scene was a special electric car with a top speed of around 30 kilometres per hour, thus impeding a fast getaway.
Concerned motorists subsequently took up a somewhat less-than-high-speed chase after the boy.
"From what I understand, they had a good overview of things and honked their horn so that other cars stopped when he came," Jan Jentzell of Poseidon, the property management firm which owned the car, told the newspaper.
According to Jentzell, the boy continued driving in the stolen car for about ten minutes before crashing at a roundabout.
He then hopped out of the car and attempted to escape on foot before being grabbed by an adult who had given chase ahead of the arrival of police.
"It's unbelievable," Jentzell told Aftonbladet.
"I've never seen anything like it. It's also so tragic...he's so young."
As the boy is too young to face formal criminal charges, the matter, which took place last Tuesday, has been turned over to social services, which will ultimately decide what measures need to be taken.
The gun used by the boy to threaten onlookers when he stole the car is believed to have been a airsoft gun.