Arrests in what Beaumont police call “fake kidnapping”

Arrests in what Beaumont police call “fake kidnapping”
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Beaumont police arrested a mother and daughter who staged a kidnapping Feb. 9.

Feb. 8, detectives filed charges against Tiffany Shanta Hawkins, 25-year-old Beaumont woman, and her mother, Brandy Shantha Springer, a 38-year-old Beaumont woman, for filing a false report with the Beaumont Police Department, BPD PIO Carol Riley said in a release.

Hawkins and Springer staged the kidnapping Feb. 2, with Springer duct-taping Hawkins and her 7-year-old daughter, taking pictures of the two, and then locking them in the trunk of a vehicle.

Then they reported the incident to Beaumont Police, according to the release, and numerous officers and dispatchers conducted a “lengthy search,” Riley said in the release.

Police located Hawkins and her daughter on Potter Street in Beaumont, and detectives took statements from all parties involved.

Once detectives found evidence proving the kidnapping was staged and confronted them with the evidence, both mother and daughter admitted that it was a hoax. They staged the incident and sent pictures to Hawkins’ boyfriend in an attempt to explain missing funds, according to the release.

“They committed a crime that tied up a lot of manpower that could have been used doing other things, and the worst part of it was, they involved a 7-year-old child in this,” Officer Carol Riley said in a press conference. “Whether the little girl knew she was being kidnapped or not, being duct-taped and put in the back of a trunk, I’m sorry, there’s just no excuse for anything like that.”

Filing a false report is a Class B misdemeanor, but Riley wants the community to know that the Beaumont Police Department considers this a serious offense.

“Sometimes when we make up a story, it just gets bigger and bigger and starts causing more problems,” Riley said. “She was trying to get herself out of a [financial] bind … and came up with this scheme that just went out of control.”

“There’s absolutely no reason to come up with a scheme like this, tying up officers and including a 7-year-old,” she said, adding that BPD plans to follow through and pursue these charges.

Hawkins gave police a written apology letter. She wrote that there “will not be a repeat incident,” “what I did was wrong” and “I’m truly sorry.”

Beaumont Police has received false reports before, but Riley said she cannot remember an incident like this before.

Riley said that CPS has been notified of the incident and will be investigating.