Phoenix police arrested an Arizona couple who “fabricated” having a missing child in order to speed up the return of their stolen truck, according to authorities.
The couple, identified as James Wagner, 37, and Stormee Wagner, 40, reported a missing baby in the back of a stolen vehicle.
Police put out an Amber Alert Wednesday morning for “an 18-month-old child,” distributing security camera pictures of two suspects – unnamed – who had stolen the vehicle.
Sgt. Mercedes Fortune of the Phoenix Police told Fox 10 Phoenix that the Wagners and the unnamed couple entered a convenience store, with the unnamed couple at some point getting back in the truck and driving away.
Police commenced an “intensive search” for the baby, finding the truck but no child inside. They quickly determined that the couple had in fact “fabricated” the missing child so that they could speed up police response to get their truck back.
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“The resources used during this investigation worked tirelessly to find the alleged kidnapped baby,” Phoenix Police tweeted Wednesday, mentioning a police helicopter as part of the search.
“With the facts as we now know them, the suspects will now be arrested and booked for false reporting to law enforcement.”
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The search took several hours.
The two unnamed suspects who stole the truck were not booked into jail.