(Reuters) - A Southern California couple have been arrested for child endangerment over accusations they kept their 11-year-old severely autistic son in a metal cage, police said on Wednesday.

Police were led to a home in the Los Angeles suburb of Anaheim on Tuesday by an anonymous tipster and removed the boy from the property along with what they described as a large, kennel-like cage with a mattress inside.

Lieutenant Bob Dunn, a spokesman for the Anaheim Police Department, said preliminary investigations showed the family might have been having difficulty coping with the boy's outbursts.

"Putting him in that cage may have been a way for them to try to, in their way, control what was going on," Dunn told broadcaster KTLA.

He said officers did not yet know how often or for how long the boy was kept in the cage, but that he appeared well-fed and bore no visible injuries.

The parents were booked on felony charges of child endangerment and false imprisonment, while the boy and two other siblings were in the custody of child protective services.

(Writing by Daniel Wallis; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Jim Loney)

[Crime scene image via Shutterstock]