Woman Who Reported False Carjacking Pleads No Contest to Misdemeanor Charge

A woman who falsely reported that her Toyota Camry had been carjacked in South Los Angeles with her 16-year-old son inside, sparking an Amber Alert, pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of filing a false police report, city prosecutors announced Friday.

Charline Gatson entered the plea Thursday, and she was immediately placed on three years probation and ordered to serve 60 days in jail, although it’s unclear exactly how much time she will actually spend behind bars.

According to the City Attorney’ Office, Gatson must also pay a $220 fine, with a restitution hearing expected to be held later.

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On July 6, Gatson told police that her black 2014 Camry was carjacked at gunpoint around 4 p.m. that day at 47th and Figueroa streets, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

Gatson identified a 31-year-old acquaintance as the suspect. But as it turned out, Gatson had lent her car to the woman, who refused to return the vehicle after having it for several days, police allege.

Detectives learned “there was no carjacking, nor was there a minor child involved at any time,” according to the LAPD. Police said the motive behind the false report was unknown, but “it is believed she simply wanted to create a scenario that would warrant a police response. Her false claim led to numerous police resources being utilized, as well as the issuance of a statewide Amber Alert.”

Gatson was arrested Friday, the same day the Camry and the woman who had borrowed it were found in San Bernardino.

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