Claim: An attempted abduction took place at the Westfield Mall in Toledo.
Example: [Collected via e-mail, December 2010]
Today I was told about an abduction at Westfield Mall. I will not mention the parties involved but the story has been verified by reliable sources. A woman was at Westfield Mall with her
The police were called. A van was found in the parking lot with
PLEASE DO NOT SHOP AT WESTFIELD ALONE AND FOR GOD SAKE, DON’T LET YOUR DAUGHTERS!!!!!
Origins: In October 2010, the Toledo Blade began fielding inquiries from concerned citizens about an attempted abduction that had supposedly taken place at a local shopping mall. According to the rumor, two men attempted to kidnap a teenaged girl from a bathroom at the Westfield Franklin Park Mall; their nefarious plot was foiled by the girl's mother, who recognized her daughter's shoes on the unconscious girl the ill-intentioned were trying to spirit away from the building. In each of the tellings, the girl was rescued, but the abductors got away and were seen racing to a van where other girls were already being held captive. The rumor spread to the online world, and by December 2010 had become a popular
There was nothing to the tale, though. Police Chief Mike Navarre of Toledo, the location of the Westfield Franklin Park Mall, said he thoroughly investigated the rumors by checking for any 911 calls, police reports, criminal investigations, and talking with mall security. He found nothing to support the story being circulated. Said Navarre, "There was absolutely no evidence, whatsoever, that anything remotely close to this had occurred."
The Westfield Franklin Park mall also said the following:
This rumor is false. The Toledo police department has conducted a thorough investigation and determined that no such incident has ever been witnessed or reported at Westfield Franklin Park.
The 2010 Westfield mall abduction hoax employs two standard components of the "child kidnapped from Disneyland or large box store" legend that has been around since the
Barbara "shod squad" Mikkelson
Last updated: 19 December 2010
Wells, Colleen. "Westfield Mall Kidnapping Rumors Not True." WTOL 11 [Toledo]. 14 December 2010. Toledo Blade. "Police: Westfield Franklin Park Abduction Story Untrue." 15 December 2010. WKBN-TV [Youngstown, OH]. "Ohio Police: Mall Kidnap Story Going Viral Is Hoax." 16 December 2010.