York Regional Police have charged a 16-year-old student with public mischief after allegedly staging his own kidnapping in Markham.
According to police, officers responded to a report of a kidnapping shortly after midnight on Friday, Sept. 27.
When officers arrived, they were reportedly shown a video of the supposed victim, a 16-year-old student who recently arrived in Canada from China.
“The video, which was sent to his parents in China via a social media application, showed the student bound, gagged and wearing a blindfold,” a media release reads.
“The video had an accompanying text message demanding that his parents pay $1 million dollars for his release. Significant frontline police and investigative resources were engaged in this investigation.”
At approximately 1:30 a.m., the student was found in a restaurant in the area of Valleymede Road and Highway 7 in Richmond Hill.
“Further investigation revealed that the student had staged the kidnapping in an effort to get attention and cash from his parents. He was placed under arrest and has since been charged,” the media release reads.
“York Regional Police is advising our community that any report of a kidnapping is taken very seriously. We engage all available resources to ensure that the victim is found as quickly as possible and in the best possible condition. Staging an incident that results in the use of police resources when there was no such incident is a criminal offence. It also needlessly ties up valuable police resources that are required to deal with actual emergencies.”