In a “brazen” kidnapping attempt, Las Vegas police say a woman posed as a Child Protective Services worker while trying to abduct a 3-week-old infant — even going so far as to request that cops stand by as she conducted a completely made-up order to pick up the baby.
Following usual CPS protocol, Joanna Boyd reportedly called authorities to request that officers accompany her as she carried out an “emergency removal order of a newborn child,” Capt. Nichole Splinter, of the Metropolitan Police Department, said, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Child welfare agents “shall request the assistance of a law enforcement agency in the removal of a child if the agency has reasonable cause to believe that the child or the person placing the child in protective custody may be threatened with harm,” according to Nevada law.
“She was actually brazen enough to place that call and have Metro with her, which would probably have made it look much simpler to the family to go there and attempt to remove this child,” Splinter said.
However, not only did police not assist Boyd, 39, but they eventually arrested her on Monday.
She allegedly found the baby, who was not harmed, after the two parents posted on Facebook asking for baby clothes for their new child, KSNV in Las Vegas reports.
After Boyd reportedly told police a questionable story about the case and turned over fraudulent documents, authorities contacted CPS to inquire about Boyd, the Review-Journal reports.
Unsurprisingly, the agency had “no idea who she was,” Splinter told the paper.
"From what she told to us originally is that she planned on keeping the baby because her children were taken from her at some point," said at a press conference, referring to Boyd.
Boyd has been charged with forgery, attempt kidnapping, possession of a stolen vehicle, impersonating a public officer and other charges.
This isn’t the alleged would-be kidnapper’s first brush with the law.
Boyd’s rap sheet spans several states, and she has in the past been charged with child cruelty, according to KSNV, and been convicted of at least one felony in California.
Richard Guerry, of the Institute for Responsible Online and Cellphone Communication (IROC2), noted that this case provides a stark reminder of how easy it is for criminals to take advantage of the information we publicly post online.
“What we put out there really depends on what level of risk you’re willing to take," he told KSNV, adding that even privacy settings are not fool-proof when it comes to concealing information.
Police are looking into other recent potential crimes that may have been committed by Boyd. Anyone with information about her can call Las Vegas Metropolitan Police at 702-828-7355, or Crime Stoppers at 702-385-5555 to remain anonymous.
[Photo Credit: Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department]
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