An Arizona couple was arrested after police said they lied about a baby being kidnapped — in hopes of getting their stolen truck back.
Initially, Phoenix police said Wednesday an 18-month-old baby was reported kidnapped and last seen in a green pickup truck that was stolen near Indian School Road and Third Avenue.
But on Thursday, police said the couple “fabricated” the story because they “wanted quicker police response” over the missing truck..
Police identified the couple who reported the false kidnapping as Stormee Wagner, 40, and James Wagner, 37, Fox10 reported.
The pickup truck and another couple suspected of stealing the vehicle were found Wednesday afternoon but there was no baby in sight, according to Phoenix Police Department spokesperson Sgt. Mercedes Fortune, AZCentral reported.
Police said they interviewed both the Wagners and the couple initially suspected of kidnapping and learned that the couples knew each other, according to the publication.
BREAKING: @PhoenixPolice learned the “caregivers” fabricated the kidnapping story. There is no missing 18-month-old. The couple apparently wanted quicker police response to get their truck back from the suspects who took it. They will be charged with false reporting. @abc15 pic.twitter.com/FOClA4O5mH— Ashley Paredez (@AshleyOnABC15) May 13, 2021
Fortune said that the Wagners made up the kidnapping because they “wanted quicker police response to get their vehicle back from the suspects who took their truck without their permission,” according to AZCentral.
The couple reportedly told police they sometimes were babysitters for the child, who they said was named Wendy and described as having brown hair and wearing a pink onesie reading “Mama’s baby,” according to AZCentral.
Now police say the Wagners will face charges.
UPDATE: After an intensive search for the reported baby, we have learned that the "care giving couple" fabricated the story of a kidnapping. The couple wanted quicker police response to get their vehicle back from the suspects who took their truck without their permission. (1/2) pic.twitter.com/dzUWlbP6iC— Phoenix Police (@PhoenixPolice) May 13, 2021
“The resources used during this investigation worked tirelessly to find the alleged kidnapped baby.
A police helicopter was also used 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,” a Phoenix police post states.
The other couple accused of stealing the truck will also face charges, according to 12News.