By Angie Thompson



TIFTON -- Police have decided not to charge the young people responsible for making a crank call of a kidnapping Thursday to an Alabama man. Police here worked for over five hours tracking leads in an attempt to rescue the woman victim from harm.

Tifton Police Det. Lt. Porter Jackson said the Moultrie woman who owned the cell phone from which the call was placed came to the station Friday and talked with investigators.

"She had loaned her car to a roommate and the phone was in the car," Jackson said. "Some young friends of the woman's roommate accidentally keyed the microphone up and, according to them, had no idea anyone would call the police."

Jackson said the youngsters didn't know what to do when they realized the Prattville, Ala. man had heard the prank that a woman was kidnapped from the Wal-Mart parking lot here and stuffed into the trunk of a car. Attempts by the pranksters to retrieve the four-digit number they had dialed on the Nextel phone and call the man with an explanation was unsuccessful.

"They were very apologetic about it," Jackson said. "I explained that this could have had dire consequences.

Officers and a loss prevention agent with Wal-Mart reviewed some of the surveillance video after the call was reported and spotted a white Oldsmobile Cutlass with a black top speeding in front of the store toward the garden center. Thinking the vehicle may have been involved in the abduction, a Be On the Look Out (BOLO) was issued statewide.

"Law enforcement officers would have been ready to make a felony stop and it makes a nervous situation," Jackson said. "They are looking for the people to have a gun.

"We aren't going to seek any charges. I think I got the message across how bad it could have turned out."



To contact reporter Angie Thompson, call 382-4321, ext. 208.

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