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Police abduction report was a hoax

Mike Heine/The Week

(Published April 10, 2007, 3:52 p.m.)

Nine squad cars from three departments scoured the city's west side for two hours Friday morning looking for an unmarked police car reportedly involved in a child abduction attempt.

The report, however, was a hoax and a big waste of police time, said Delavan Police Chief Tim O'Neill.

"Anything involving an alleged impersonation of a police officer, we pull out all the stops," O'Neill said.

Turns out the phony call came from a 15-year-old boy who got into an argument with another student at either Delavan-Darien High School or Phoenix Middle School, O'Neill said.

The boy, who faces three juvenile misdemeanor charges of obstruction, is in the custody of his parents. Charges were referred to the Walworth County District Attorney's Office Monday, O'Neill said.

The boy admitted to officers that he made the call, O'Neill said.

The boy phoned police, saying an officer in a plain white Chevy Impala police vehicle handcuffed him on West Wisconsin Street and tried to obtain information from him.

The boy gave very detailed but false descriptions of both the supposed officer and car, O'Neill said.

After checking with all local police departments in the area and sending out an attempt-to-locate to five surrounding counties, it was determined that no area police department had a plain white Impala police vehicle, O'Neill said.

The chief suspected the boy made the call to protect himself from getting into trouble for being in a dispute with another child earlier in the day.

Officers from Walworth County and the city and town of Delavan patrolled the area about two hours before the boy admitted to the hoax, O'Neill said.

"The City of Delavan Police Department takes all reports of crimes seriously, and when a crime is falsely reported it wastes precious time that could be devoted to solving real crimes," O'Neill said in a statement.


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