The reported abduction of a 15-year-old girl from a gas station parking lot in Santa Rosa turned out to be a prank, police indicated Thursday afternoon.
An Amber Alert had been rescinded after the girl was determined to be safe in her home, but police later called the incident a “poorly planned decided prank.”
The abduction had supposedly occurred about 1:40 p.m. Wednesday at an ARCO station in the 2500 block of Guerneville Road and the alert was issued Thursday morning to involve the public’s help in finding the girl.
Officials were looking for a green 2007 Chrysler Town and Country that may have been headed to the Los Angeles area, an earlier news release from the Santa Rosa Police Department stated.
A witness told investigators that the victim was standing with family members when a man in an orange shirt ran across the parking and grabbed her.
She was then supposedly forced into a dark-colored minivan that fled eastbound on Guerneville Road, according to the news release.
The man involved was later identified as 20-year-old Ionita Cimino.
In a video posted on Twitter, Santa Rosa police said there were “many difficulties” with the investigation because of a delay in reporting the purported crime, language barriers and conflicting information.
After speaking to the girl who was believed to be the victim in this case, investigators determined the incident was a prank, a lieutenant explained in the video.
“Detectives are going to continue to follow up and attempt to speak to all the involved parties to determine the circumstances as to what led to this situation to occur,” the lieutenant said.
No further details about the incident have been released, and it is unclear if anyone will face charges in connection with the previously alleged crime.
Anyone with information is asked to use the Police Department’s Tip Line at www.srcity.org/CrimeTips or call 707-543-3595. If immediate information needs to be provided, callers were asked to dial 707-528-5222.