LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Lubbock police went door to door in response to reports of a missing child possibly taken during a car theft on Tuesday afternoon, but now police are saying the child was not in the car.
"Detectives were going to schools and relatives' homes...trying to locate any sort of child that could be associated with the man that called the car in stolen and it turns out that he was mistaken," said Sgt. Jason Lewis with the Lubbock Police Department. "We're just thankful there wasn't a 6-year-old child involved so detectives will be following up with the reporting person."
Police say a man stole a car parked at Kmart at University Avenue and 66th Street around 2:30 p.m.
They were originally told that a young girl was sitting in the passenger seat when the car was taken. Authorities found the car in a alley near 78th Street and Avenue U, but are still searching for the suspect.
The girl was found safe later in the afternoon, but neighbors in the area were given quite a scare.
"I was really shocked whenever I saw the police officer with a bulletproof vest on and a rifle at my door and I didn't know what was going on," said Bruce Schafer. "He asked if he could come and look in the alley over our fence and through our backyard and I told him he could go ahead and do it."
Schafer says police took particular interest in two sheds he has in his backyard to make sure the suspect wasn't inside. The sheds were still locked and police continued their search.
Fellow neighbor Tammie Dickson wasn't home at the time but saw the aftermath.
"I came home it was around 5:30 p.m.," she said. "I came in through the garage and the front door was wide open so I just assumed the landlord came in today so I don't know exactly what happened."
She feels it's a blessing she wasn't home because she says she would have been a wreck.
"I have a little one so I know how it feels to miss a kid. It's really devastating."
Police say they are continuing to question the man who initially filed the report. Sgt. Lewis says investigators will eventually determine if they want to press charges but right now the investigation is ongoing.