Man accused of falsely claiming 7-year-old boy missing in Queens carjacking

ByEyewitness News via WABC logo
Monday, November 1, 2021
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The man who reported his car was stolen with a 7-year-old boy inside is in custody because no child was actually missing.

HOLLIS, Queens (WABC) -- The man who reported his car was stolen with a 7-year-old boy inside is in custody after detectives determined there was no child in the vehicle.

James Reyes, 32, allegedly reported the child was inside the red Ford Mustang when it was stolen from 202nd Street at around 6:45 p.m. Sunday, apparently to expedite the police response.

The Mustang and the 17-year-old car thief were found four hours later, about a half-mile from where the vehicle was stolen.

Police searched for a boy with special needs who was reported to have been inside the Mustang.

The 17-year-old car theft suspect said he didn't know anything about a carjacked boy, and detectives soon determined there was never a child in the vehicle.

Reyes was charged with filing a false police report.

The 17-year-old suspect was released to the custody of his parents.

Neighbors were baffled that all the manpower in two locations around 11 p.m. on Halloween night was all because of a hoax.

"They blocked off from 100 to 104th avenues, searched all the yards, helicopters flying, looking for this child, then come to find out this morning there was no child," Hollis resident Joe Minott said. "It's mind boggling. The way that people think right now. And what they deem to be important. And what's not important."

Eyewitness News reached out to the man who reported the car missing. He was issued a desk appearance ticket for the charge which could come with a fine, but it's not yet clear if that will cover the bill for all that manpower.

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