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KPD warns against abduction misinformation

LIHU‘E — The Kaua‘i Police Department put out a warning Thursday regarding false social media posts about a child abduction that never occurred.

A Monday post circulating on popular local Facebook groups warned of two men attempting to “possibly abduct” a girl outside of Walmart, describing them as trying to “lure her away from her mother” and get her to come over to their van. The posts included photos.

Police say that these claims are false.

“Based on an investigation and video surveillance footage from Walmart of the alleged incident, along with eyewitness statements, it was determined that no such abduction attempt occurred nor were there any reports made to KPD regarding this alleged incident,” the police statement said.

Additionally, police say that later Facebook posts claiming that suspects in a Tuesday burglary were confronting the men from the Walmart parking lot were also false.

Albert Bactad, 45, of Hanama‘ulu; Paulo Vito, 47, of Kapaia; and Lawrence Vicente-Bermoy, 39, of Kapa‘a, were arrested at 3 a.m. Tuesday on charges of burglary in the first degree and assault in both the second and third degrees.

The trio allegedly assaulted two 42-year-old males and a 29-year-old male after breaking into a Lihu‘e residence.

“We ask the public to please be mindful and careful of what you read and post on social media and to please not react to such postings in an unlawful manner,” the police statement said. “When and if an alleged incident of this nature does occur, please immediately contact the police.”

KPD reported that there will be no further information available due to an ongoing investigation.
Source: The Garden Island

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