Woman arrested for falsely reporting LA carjacking, triggering Amber Alert

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Authorities said an Amber Alert that was issued for a 16-year-old boy resulted from a false report by a woman who had loaned her car to another woman.

Charline Gatson told authorities she was carjacked at 47th and Figueroa streets on Thursday and that her stepson, Eric Coleman, was in the backseat at the time of the carjacking.

Authorities identified Kandice Johnson, 31, as the suspect and she was found and arrested on Friday in San Bernardino.

During the investigation, authorities learned Gatson had actually loaned the car to Johnson for several days and for an unknown reason Johnson had refused to give it back.

Authorities also learned Johnson never carjacked Gatson, and Coleman was never actually in the backseat.

Although the motive for Gatson creating the false reports is unclear, authorities believe she wanted to create a scene that would result in a swift police response.

"Those kinds of man-hours and that dedication of resources meant that other victims of true crimes, of valid crimes, went without justice or at least their justice (was) delayed," LAPD Capt. Shannon Paulson said.

The false report involved the Los Angeles police, California Highway patrol and San Bernardino police, and it could have put innocent people at risk.

"You have law enforcement officers moving on that vehicle, moving on those individuals believing that they are suspects involved in a violent carjacking and are in fact armed and dangerous. That can lead to unfortunate outcomes," Paulson said.

Gatson was arrested Friday morning on suspicion of filing a false police report. She faces fines as well as up to 1 year in jail if convicted.

Authorities said Johnson has not been charged with anything.

Anyone with more information was urged to call 77th Division Detectives at (323) 786-5420. They may also call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.
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