A witness called the NYPD to report a woman in her 20s was allegedly forced into a late model Toyota minivan around 1:45 a.m. on Friday, April 21, in Brooklyn. A new report suggests the victim knew the suspect.
According to the New York Post, the unidentified woman was described as light-skinned with long hair, approximately 5-foot-5, and 120 pounds.
Images released by the police department captured a man in his 30s who appeared to “approach the woman with his arm pointed at her” before he whisked her away into the vehicle and raced northbound on Stillwell Avenue.
A source in connection with the NYPD revealed to the Post that the disturbing incident was a mystery. At the time, cops were digging further into video footage to locate where the woman and the man appeared before the caught-on-camera abduction.
“She didn’t appear to be struggling like you would if it was a stranger,” the source said, per the Post.
“The male and female depicted in the video were both found,” the NYPD said. “Both parties were known to each other, and it was deemed to have not been a crime.”
No other information has been provided at this time.
Though this case has not been confirmed as a fake kidnapping, virtual kidnappings have been on the rise for at least two decades, according to the FBI. This scam has recently evolved to exploit new vulnerabilities. Scammers scour phone calls, social media, and more to obtain the names of families and individual family members.
“We’ve seen an uptick in virtual kidnappings in the past few years because the crime is lucrative and there’s not a lot detection from law enforcement,” Matthew Horton, the FBI’s international violent crimes unit chief, told CNN Business.
“It’s a quick way to make money — and it’s a lot easier to conduct a virtual kidnapping than a real one.