Preston Scott Washington, 25, is now charged with filing a false kidnapping report and faces a misdemeanor warrant after he told police his car was stolen from Kmart while his six-year-old daughter was sitting inside.
"It's a parent's worse nightmare," said Sergeant Jason Lewis with the Lubbock Police Department.
The search for Washington's child lasted more than two hours and involved several agencies.
"We had SWAT units out there, we had a burglary suppression unit out there, we had special duty officers that were working it, juvenile detectives, administrative staff, there was officers that stayed over from the first shift, officers from the second shift that were working it, K9, a traffic unit was out there. We had officers really all over the city that were somehow involved," Sgt. Lewis said.
Officials eventually located Washington's car near 78th and Avenue U, but there was no sign of a child.
"From there, a door to door search was started and more officers were called in," Sgt. Lewis said.
After searching and questioning Washington's family, police learned there never really was a child in his car, she had been at school the whole time.
So, who pays for all of this manpower?
"Tax dollars or government dollars depending on if it's a grant that the guys happen to be working, but yeah, it comes from us, it comes from all of us that live here," Sgt. Lewis said.
And while Sgt. Lewis doe not have the exact dollar amount at this time, he says, "the cost is tremendous for the city," he said.
Sergeant Lewis said they are still working to find out who stole Washington's vehicle.
A false kidnapping report is a Class B Misdemeanor, so if he's convicted, Washington could be fined up to $2,000 and/or spend up to 180 days in jail.
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