A teenage girl was allegedly kidnapped Monday as she walked down a street with her mother in the Bronx, New York.
Surveillance footage released by the New York Police Department (NYPD) showed a beige four-door sedan pull up alongside 16-year-old Karol Sanchez and her mother in the 700 block of Eagle Avenue around 11:30 p.m., according to ABC 7.
Sanchez’s mom tried to fight back but was reportedly pushed to the ground as the men dragged her daughter into the car that had two other suspects inside. The vehicle then fled east on Eagle Avenue.
Investigators said the teenager did not know the suspects.
An Amber Alert was issued following the incident and described Sanchez as “5 feet 5 inches tall, 150 pounds with short black hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing a blue short jacket, white sweater, blue jeans and black sneakers,” according to CBS New York.
Tuesday, the NYPD tweeted a photo of Sanchez and asked the public for help in finding her:
🚨AMBER ALERT: Help us find 16-year-old Karol Sanchez.
Karol was abducted last night at 11:20pm in front of 745 Eagle Avenue, in the Bronx, by 4 male suspects who were driving a 4-door beige sedan. Call 9-1-1 if you seen her.
Call @NYPDTips with any info. pic.twitter.com/2uQnv2MoJQ
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) December 17, 2019
“Four black male suspects were reported to have taken her into a unknown tan four door sedan,” the Amber Alert read.
“Child was taken under circumstances that lead police to believe she may be in imminent danger of serious bodily harm and/or death,” the bulletin concluded.
Residents in the Melrose section of the Bronx where the incident occurred told reporters they are concerned for their own children’s safety.
“I always take her to school and pick her up,” parent Joy Bates said. “Hopefully nothing like that. I might get kidnapped, too.”
Eleven-year-old Paige Innis commented that a family member offered her advice after learning of the alleged kidnapping.
“My cousin told me, ‘Don’t say a word. Don’t walk near a curb. Be careful for vans that look suspicious.'”
The NYPD asked anyone who has information regarding Sanchez’s whereabouts to call its Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). For Spanish, dial 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).
UPDATE: Tuesday, Sanchez reportedly admitted to police she staged the abduction to be with her boyfriend after she reappeared at the same intersection where the initial event took place, according to the New York Post.
The teenager’s boyfriend is reportedly a member of the Crips gang who has several prior arrests on his record, including one for murder.
Investigators said the girl’s mother wanted to move back to Honduras but she did not want to go, resulting in tension between them, sources told ABC 7.