Near kidnappings were a hoax

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It now turns out that the two incidents of alleged kidnapping attempts on Saipan were just a case of children crying wolf.

In a story that brings to mind the Aesop fable about the boy who faked a story about a wolf attack, the Department of Public Safety recently found out that the two attempted kidnapping cases in Dandan that were reported to the police earlier this month never really happened, that there never really was a near-kidnapping incident, and it was all made up.

According to a DPS statement yesterday, the hoax came to light after its investigators looked further into the case and followed up with both callers and victims on the two occasions, during which it was concluded that both reports were false and did not occur, and that the two alleged victims had made up the story.

This was not the first instance where DPS faced a faux near-kidnapping report. Back in 2018, a fourth-grade student from William S. Reyes alerted authorities of an attempted kidnapping that also turned out to be false.

Many community members took to social media to warn others about the alleged near-kidnapping incident at the WSR campus involving the fourth grader back in September 2018.

However, upon responding to the incident, DPS found out that the fourth grader had been making up the story the entire time.

In the latest cases, DPS received two separate reports of attempted kidnapping incidents in the village of Dandan on Jan. 10, and 12, with both reports alleging there was a man in a gray/ silver sedan who was trying to lure the children.

Police were dispatched to both scenes, one a bus stop and the other a private residence, and met with the callers to entertain the reports.

Police conducted a thorough sweep within the village and were on the lookout for the suspicious silver/gray sedan. But, on both occasions, police were unable to find the described vehicle.

DPS still encourages the public to call 911 to report any suspicious vehicles or if there really is a near-kidnapping incident. If you would like to remain anonymous call the CNMI Crime Stoppers hotline at 234-7272.

Kimberly Bautista | Reporter
Kimberly Albiso Bautista has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.
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