OAKLAND, Calif. (KTVU) - Oakland Police have arrested the father who claimed that his 3-year-old child was abducted in a carjacking, which triggered an Amber Alert.
Officer Johanna Watson told KTVU that the report of a missing child caused local law enforcement to expend a huge amount of resources to find the girl.
The father said his vehicle, a silver 2005 Mercedes-Benz, was carjacked with his daughter still inside, at about 8 p.m. Saturday.
Oakland Police then issued an Amber Alert identifying the girl and the license plate of the car.
Detective Corporal Gil Tang of El Cerrito Police said the suspect and vehicle were spotted, and a brief chase ensued at about 11:40 p.m..
The pursuit ended when the sedan crashed near the intersection of San Pablo Avenue and Carlson Boulevard in El Cerrito just before midnight.
A suspect was taken into custody, but the girl was not in the car.
Law enforcement then announced at 1:51 a.m. Sunday that she was found safe somewhere else.
Oakland Police now say the father lied about his daughter's disappearance, because he thought authorities would help him recover his vehicle faster.
Authorities say the child had been with her dad earlier in the day, but was with her mom when the car was stolen.
The carjacking suspect is facing robbery charges, while the father was arrested on suspicion of filing a false report.
KTVU reporter Sara Zendehnam followed this story throughout Sunday's KTVU Mornings on 2.
After the newscast, she was able to talk on the phone to the girl's mom, who said the whole incident was a misunderstanding.
The mother said her child is fine, and that she was never in harm's way.
When told that the child's father was the one who reported she was abducted, the mother said, "I don't know who put it out there, but that's a false accusation."
She also told Sara Zendehnam that this entire incident made her angry, and that reporters are showing up at the family home.
She is not interested in doing an on-camera interview at this time, because she feels overwhelmed, but she does want everyone to know her girl is okay.
Oakland Police said that the mom only find out that her daughter was supposedly taken, because of news reports throughout the night.
KTVU first broadcast the girl's name and photo, but due to her age, we have stopped identifying her, when she was found.