Arizona Couple Arrested After Falsely Claiming The Kidnapping Of A Child To Get Police To Find Their Stolen Truck

We often discuss criminals who are standouts for their stupidity or audacity or savagery. When it comes to Stormee Wagner, 40, and James E. Wagner, 37, there are few words that capture the callous character of their crime. The couple wanted to get police to find their stolen truck faster, so they triggered an Amber alert by claiming that their daughter was kidnapped in the truck.

The couple told police that they were caring for an 18-month-old girl who was in the vehicle driven away from a convenience store. The police then triggered the Amber Alert and conducted an extensive search with 50 officers and a police helicopter.
The police were suspicious when the truck did not have any car seat or evidence of a child when it was located. The couple later admitted that they wanted their truck back from unnamed individuals and thought that the police would find it faster if they said a little girl was kidnapped.

The police issued a statement that “Detectives have learned that the ‘caregiving couple’ fabricated the story of the kidnapping. The couple wanted quicker police response to get their vehicle back from the suspects who took their truck without their permission.”


The crime however is a misdemeanor:

13-2907.01False reporting to law enforcement agencies; classification

A. It is unlawful for a person to knowingly make to a law enforcement agency of either this state or a political subdivision of this state a false, fraudulent or unfounded report or statement or to knowingly misrepresent a fact for the purpose of interfering with the orderly operation of a law enforcement agency or misleading a peace officer.

B. Violation of this section is a class 1 misdemeanor.

The couple earned a special mention on our rogue’s gallery.

13 thoughts on “Arizona Couple Arrested After Falsely Claiming The Kidnapping Of A Child To Get Police To Find Their Stolen Truck”

  1. The Coen brothers should make a movie out of this.

  2. What they did was wrong, no question about it. It does make one wonder though, how much effort and how long would it take if they were looking only for the truck…and would the couple’s appearance have any effect on the urgency?

  3. Jonathan: The Arizona couple’s arrest is not as “bizarre” as your decision to write about it. Sometimes I think that some of your columns are derived from your law class lectures and you simply cut and paste and put them into your blog. That could be due to laziness. It could also be because it’s a slow news day. The latter can’t be the case because there are so many other important issues to address–like attempts around the country by politicians to criminalize the “free speech” rights of journalists, a subject you choose to ignore. Unless, of course, when the “free speech” rights of conservative professors or students are allegedly threatened. Who really cares about local police cases involving Bengal tigers or an Arizona couple that lied about the theft of their truck? I don’t care and I don’t think many of the followers of your blogs care about these trivial issues either. As a constitutional scholar I would think you would be addressing the important threats to the constitutional rights of journalists. But no, you are “bizarrely” silent. So I am putting you on notice. Hench forth I will not comment on any blog by you that does not address the really important issues of the day and I urge your followers to do the same. Stop wasting our time!.

  4. If this was a Texas couple, you could be assured that the truck was an F 150,
    because nobody in Texas would go to that much trouble for something like a Silverado, a Ram or god forbid, a Tacoma! 😀

      1. mespo apologies. I actually do like Chevys. But Texas is Ford Country, esp 150’s.! Honestlawyer is part of the Texas F150 cult. I swear they have a support group for those unfortunate guys who, through no fault of their own, have had to trade-in their 150 for a family sedan. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it’s too painful to watch. 🙂

  5. Photos….ughly photos…
    What kind of people look so ugly?
    Amber… Wilber… Last name Alert..
    Fat kids skinny kids…
    Even kids with chicken pox ..
    Look ugly…

  6. Bill them for services extended as a result of the false reporting.

  7. Maybe a public slap by a grandma should be included in the punishment.

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