KEY POINTS

  • The couple claimed that a baby was inside the truck when it was stolen
  • About 50 officers and a police helicopter were deployed to search for the baby
  • The vehicle was found soon, but there was still no trace of the "missing baby"
  • Further investigation revealed the couple had lied to get their truck back soon

A couple falsely reported that an 18-month-old child had been taken along with their truck, The Phoenix Police Department has said.

Investigation revealed the pair had fabricated the story to ensure quicker police action to get their truck back.

The couple called police around 1:30 p.m. Wednesday to report that their truck had been stolen from a QuikTrip near 3rd Avenue and Indian School Road, reported ABC 15.

They said a baby girl was inside the Ford F-250 when they stopped at the gas station. According to the pair, another couple, whom they just met, got into the truck and drove away with the baby inside.

They also provided the police with the description of the "child." They said her name was Wendy and she had "brown hair, could not talk, and was last seen wearing a pink onesie with the words 'Mama's baby' on the front." The couple claimed they babysat the child occasionally, AZ Central said in a report.

Police immediately launched an all-out search and were in the process of issuing an Amber Alert. More than 50 officers and a police helicopter were deployed to search for the "child."

A few hours later, police located the truck in a neighborhood near 19th Avenue and Orangewood. Officers also detained a man and a woman who had allegedly taken the vehicle. Both cooperated with the police, but there was still no sign of the "missing child."

Police approached the "caregiving couple" for more information. Subsequently, it came to light that they had fabricated the kidnapping story because they "wanted quicker police response to get their vehicle back from the suspects who took their truck without their permission." The "caregivers" also knew the couple who took their truck.

The couple will now be arrested and charged with false reporting to law enforcement. It is unclear whether the other couple will be charged for taking the vehicle, according to Phoenix police.

"The resources which were used during this investigation worked tirelessly to find the alleged kidnapped baby. A police helicopter was also utilized during the search. With the facts as we now know them, the suspects will now be arrested and booked for false reporting to law enforcement," Phoenix Police Sgt. Maggie Cox said.

police-2122394_1920 Representational image Photo: Pixabay