Father falsely claimed kidnapping to speed up search for his stolen car

OAKLAND, California -- There's been a stunning turn of events in the suspected carjacking of a vehicle in Oakland with a 3-year old girl inside. The case prompted an Amber Alert for the child.

Now, Oakland police have arrested the girl's father for lying to officers in hopes of getting his car back quicker.



Eyewitness News obtained surveillance video from Saturday night that shows a suspected car thief getting into a silver Mercedes outside a liquor store in Oakland, while the owner was inside.

Seconds later, the Mercedes is seen driving off and the owner is seen running after the stolen car into traffic.

The car's owner told Oakland police his 3-year old daughter was in the backseat of the car.

The case prompted an Amber Alert.

The car was recovered hours later after it crashed into a bus stop. The suspect was taken into custody, but the child was not inside.

Police say that's because the child was never in the car to begin with. She was at home, safe with her mom.

The father was arrested for making a false police report in hopes law enforcement would find the Mercedes quicker, according to authorities.

"I don't think that's right, I feel like there's other ways to get your car back," said Tadaysha Dewalt.

Dewalt, who lives in Oakland, can't believe the story.

"I'm glad baby is safe, that's the most important thing, that baby was not in the car," Dewalt added.

The identity of the child's father has not been released. It's unclear if police contacted the child's mother before issuing the Amber Alert on Saturday.

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