Reporting Dana Kozlov
CHICAGO (CBS) – A young mother from Harvey was in trouble with police after lying about her baby being in her car when it was stolen Wednesday morning on Chicago’s South Side.
Jeanette Holt, 25, has been charged with one count of felony disorderly conduct, police said.
CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov reports police rushed to a Chatham neighborhood daycare center around 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, after Holt called 911 to report her 1997 Chevy Monte Carlo had been stolen with her 1-year-old son inside.
At least seven squad cars were put on alert to search the area.
Police conducted a massive search for the car, only to find out the child was not inside to begin with. He had been in daycare all along.
Police sources said the boy’s mother lied about the abduction because she wanted officers to look for her car.
“We arrested her as a result,” Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said. “And we need to do that when people make false claims like that, because … it’s very serious, it endangers the public at large, and definitely our police officers who may be responding in a different fashion than just to take a report for a stolen vehicle.”
Such false reports also consume police resources at a time when the city is only responding to 911 calls where an imminent threat is present, which was not the case here.
“The case was she dropped her baby off at daycare. Upon signing the child in, someone had jumped in her car, because she left her car running, and they drove off,” said Eltonjia Thompson, owner of 4 Ever Young Daycare.
To be safe, the toddler’s father was called to the daycare, and verified his son was safe.
Thompson said it was “very stressful.”
Holt was taken into custody outside the daycare as soon as police realized she was lying, about an hour after the search had begun.
She was due in court on Thursday.
Incidentally, it’s also illegal in the state of Illinois to leave your car running on a public street.