Woman is accused of making false Amber Alert kidnapping to cover up lost car

An Amber Alert freeway sign asks motorists to be on the lookout for a vehicle.
(Robert Lachman / Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles police have arrested a woman accused of falsely reporting she was carjacked and that a 16-year-old was kidnapped, which prompted an Amber Alert.

Police announced Tuesday that Charlene Gaston was arrested Friday on suspicion of filing a false police report.

Authorities say Gaston told police her car had been taken at gunpoint in South Los Angeles on Thursday and gave police the name of a woman who she said stole the vehicle.

Gaston also claimed a 16-year-old boy was in the back seat when the car was taken, prompting police to issue an Amber Alert.


Police say there was never a carjacking or kidnapping. They say Gaston had loaned her car to the other woman, who refused to return it.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether Gaston had an attorney who could comment.


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