Claim: Gang initiates in Montgomery, Alabama, accost victims in the parking lots of small stores, then make off with their victims' vehicles and personal belongings.
Example: [Collected on the Internet, October 2012]
Just wanted to share with you an incident that took place yesterday, 10/4/12, in Montgomery, around lunch time, at the Kangaroo convenience store across from the
At this point she called 911. While waiting for police to arrive, the dispatcher had her activate her alarm to try and get them away from her vehicle. They did leave her vehicle but only went around to the side of the building where they could still see her and her them. Not sure how much time passed but after a while, the operator stated that police officers were
One of the officers told her to pass the word around - there is a "Gang Initiation" going on and their goal is to gain access to your car, get you out of it, steal your vehicle with your purse and all your personal information in it. He stated that they were targeting convenience stores and smaller stores such as Dollar General because there are times when they are without customers. STAY AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS AND BE CAREFUL EVERYWERE, DAY AND NIGHT!
Origins: Over the years, we've documented a number of "gang initiation" rumors, all of which proved to be false. (Links to our analysis of them can be found here.) The story given above is merely the latest on that long list.
In October 2012 a rumor spread via e-mail and social network sites that a gang initiation in Montgomery, Alabama, was targeting motorists frequenting convenience and similar small stores. According to the purported tale of one woman's experience, motorists were being forced from their cars by those looking to join a gang, who would then drive off with the vehicles they'd gained access to, making off with their victims' purses and personal information in the process.
The incident never occurred, said
Further investigation by the police in that
city uncovered the alleged victim, a 21-year-old Montgomery woman. She admitted to having made up the alarming story about being accosted at a Kangaroo convenience store and passing the tale of her supposed close call to her mother, who in turn authored the
According to Police Chief Kevin Murphy, the 21-year-old told the East Precinct commander she "doesn’t know why" she fabricated the tale.
"Unverified reports like this, which spread like wildfire online, have no basis in fact, but they take their toll on the community and its resources. We have wasted valuable time and resources tracking a
No criminal charges can be filed against the woman who lied about the incident, said Murphy, because she never filed a false police report.
Barbara "the state of her nails, however, cannot be ascertained" Mikkelson
Last updated: 11 October 2012
Davis, JoBeth. "MPD Says Gang Initiation Story is a Fake ." WFSA News [Montgomery]. 9 October 2012. Johnson, Scott. "Montgomery Police: Urban Myth About Woman Accosted at Gas Station is False." Montgomery Advertiser. 9 October 2012.