Lanett officers determine abduction attempt did not happen

Published 7:00 am Friday, November 1, 2019

LANETT — The Lanett Police Department has confirmed that an attempted abduction of a juvenile by two subjects in a white van on Wednesday did not occur.

A statement by Lanett Patrol Captain Richard Casner said the initial call came in at about 7 p.m. Wednesday.

However, after investigators interviewed the juvenile and reviewed surveillance footage of the area where the incident allegedly took place, police were able to verify the offense did not happen.

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“This is simply a case of a young juvenile telling a story to avoid being in trouble with its parents,” Casner said in the news release. “Thankfully, this case was found to be false and ends with the child safely with its parents.”

Making a false police report is a Class A misdemeanor for non-juveniles, Casner said.

The crime could have a penalty of no more than one year in jail and a fine or no more than $6,000, according to state statute. 

“Making a false police report causes us to use a lot of our resources for something that could be better used somewhere else,” he said. “It pulls a lot of our resources away from what we probably should be doing other than chasing ghosts.”

Casner added many police departments are on high alert when it comes to kidnappings due to recent cases such as the one involving three-year-old Kamille “Cupcake” McKinney, who was found dead 10 days after she was taken from her family in Birmingham, and the case of Aniah Blanchard, who was last heard from just before midnight on Aug. 23.

The 19-year-old Auburn woman’s black 2017 Honda CR-V was found with extensive damage at an apartment complex in Montgomery two days after she was last contacted.

Casner also said when there are false reports, it could create a “Boy Who Cried Wolf” effect. Meaning, when people continually see false reports, they become desensitized to them and don’t react in the same way as they should.

“People should be able to react to what they see and be able to give us tips to help find people,” he said. “If they get flooded with false information, they start to get numb to it because they don’t think it’s real.”