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November 23, 2014

Forest Lake kidnapping prank could lead to charges, has precedents

Forest Lake police say a possible kidnapping reported in front of a Walmart store on Sunday was a hoax.

Witness accounts and surveillance video showed a woman climbing out of a car trunk. Another woman then jumped out of the car, pushed her back into the trunk, and sped away.

Police tell KSTP the prank involved four sisters, one of them a juvenile and the other three adults. Their mother reportedly called police and told them the kidnapping was a hoax.

The incident occurred Sunday at 8:30 p.m., at the store at 200 12th St. SW, WCCO reported.  Here’s the surveillance video:

In addition to Forest Lake police, the Washington County sheriff’s office, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children were all advised of the incident, KSTP reports. Police tell the station their department spent $7,500 on the investigation.

The incident bears similarities to other kidnapping hoaxes that were staged in front of Walmart stores in other states in recent years. Last year five teenagers, some of them wearing masks, staged a kidnapping in Pueblo, Colorado. And in 2009 a similar hoax was reported in Plano, Texas.