Forest Lake police say the young women could face charges.
A juvenile and three adults — all sisters — could face charges after staging a phony abduction caught in a bizarre and chilling surveillance video Sunday night at a Wal-Mart store in Forest Lake.
The mother of the young women contacted Forest Lake police about 2 p.m. Monday afternoon and reported that the group had perpetrated the prank, which drew intensive media coverage immediately after it was reported to police and the video was distributed as investigators asked for the public’s assistance. After interviewing those involved, and seeing video evidence on their cellphones, it was determined the incident was a prank, said Capt. Greg Weiss of the Forest Lake Police Department.
In the video, the car pulls up to the front door of the Wal-Mart in the 200 block of 12th Street SW about 8:30 p.m. Sunday. The trunk pops open, and a person appearing to be a teenage girl or young woman leaps from the trunk and runs on the sidewalk toward the front of the car.
An older, larger woman in the passenger seat of the car jumps out and catches the younger woman around the waist. The larger woman drags the younger woman, who offers little resistance, to the back of the car and pushes her in the trunk.
The sisters range in age from 13 to 22 and live in Forest Lake and nearby Linwood, Tennessee and North Carolina. The 13-year-old was the one in the trunk.
Even though the video seemed suspect, Weiss said police have to take such incidents seriously.
“It’s unfortunate, because we really have to do something,” he said. “It puts us in a bad spot, but I’m satisfied with how this was handled. We did everything by the book.”
Investigators spent a lot of hours on the case, and charges or referrals might be pursued, Weiss said.
Jim Anderson • 651-925-5039