NEW YORK (AP) — A Queens man who wanted to get his stolen car back told police falsely that there was a 7-year-old boy with Down syndrome in the car, police said Monday.
The car owner made up the story about the child so that officers would work harder to find his red Ford Mustang, a police spokesperson said.
The car was stolen shortly before 7 p.m. Sunday from in front of a house in the Hollis section.
The Daily News reports that the 32-year-old car owner told police a boy with Down syndrome was inside the car when it disappeared, prompting a frantic search for the child.
Several news outlets reported on the missing boy, who supposedly was unable to communicate.
The car was located four hours later, and a 17-year-old suspected car thief was arrested, but there was no sign of a young boy.
The car owner admitted under questioning that he had made up the story about the child because he believed officers would be more diligent in their search if they thought there was a child in the car, police said.
Charges were pending Monday against the suspected car thief and against the car owner for lying to officers, police said.
It wasn't clear if they had attorneys who could speak for them.