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LPD: Abduction Call Possible Hoax

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LAWTON, Okla._ A plea for help Monday night made through a 911 call that exhausted police manpower may have been a hoax.

Monday night, officers swarmed the City of Lawton after 911 dispatchers received a call from what sounded to be a child between the ages of 8-10. The young boy said he was kidnapped and forced into what he thought was a Ford Explorer, but just when the dispatcher tried to gather more information, the boy screamed, "Here he comes! Here he comes!", and the call was lost.

That dropped call set off a chain of events, including police tracing that call to a house in Lawton where officers found evidence that appeared to corroborate the reported abduction. In the driveway of the home, they found a cell phone in pieces near a set of tire tracks about 15 minutes after the 911 call was made. Once police were able to piece the phone together though, they started to doubt the legitimacy of the call.

Lawton Police Lieutenant William Grimes said the 911 call combined with what officers found at the scene made them believe an abduction could have taken place.

"There were tire tracks in the yard and a phone in pieces," Grimes said. "So from the outside looking in, you could look at it and say, ‘Yeah. Some of this could add up."

Then, things quickly changed.

"Through our investigation, it is our belief that this was a prank call," Grimes said.

Grimes said the recovered phone was able to tell a story of its own.

"It was able to be put back together and function to the point where you could tell you could only make emergency calls on it," Grimes said.

That raised a lot of red flags.

"They were actually able to track back to the original phone number, and that's when they were able to determine this was a phone stolen two months prior."

The same cell phone was reported stolen along with all the contents of a woman's purse from inside a Lawton store back in October. A juvenile was charged with using her credit cards, pointing them to a possible suspect.

"They just happened to be near the same address of the juvenile that was charged with the possession of stolen property for the credit cards," Grimes said.

After making contact with that juvenile, they believe he is the one behind the prank call, and police believe the motive is simple: boredom. That's not okay, though. The call exhausted police manpower.

"You are calling in detectives, you have officers out on patrol that are responding and also combing the area, talking to neighbors, looking for vehicles that may be involved," Grimes said.

While it can be frustrating to officers, Grimes wants people, even children, to remain alert and report such crimes.

"I don't want people not to be vigilant," Grimes said. "I would rather be safe than sorry."

While police have made contact with the suspected juvenile, no one has been taken into custody at this time. The investigation into the possible abduction continues. Lawton police did say that they are taking this incident seriously. Even if the investigation reveals it was a prank call, they plan to present the case to the juvenile bureau.

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