WEST JORDAN — The teenage suspects said it was just a prank.
But West Jordan police say trying to entice young children into a vehicle isn't a laughing matter, and now they're sending the case to the Salt Lake County District Attorney's Office for consideration of criminal charges.
On Tuesday, a car approached a 12-year-old girl and 9-year-old boy in the parking lot of Macey's, 7859 S. 3200 West. The driver and a passenger told the children to get in, according to West Jordan police.
Instead, the boy and girl ran inside the grocery store.
Surveillance video recorded the vehicle. On Thursday, detectives received tips from the public that led them to the vehicle and its occupants.
Whether you think it's a prank or not, when you scare somebody like that, it in itself could be a crime. But the offense — an attempted abduction — certainly anybody could come back later and say, 'I was joking around.' But that's not a joking situation.
–Sgt. Dan Roberts
"They told us they were just goofing around. They thought it would be funny," said West Jordan Police Sgt. Dan Roberts. "Whether you think it's a prank or not, when you scare somebody like that, it in itself could be a crime. But the offense — an attempted abduction — certainly anybody could come back later and say, 'I was joking around.' But that's not a joking situation."
Roberts said detectives were still looking Friday at exactly how many juveniles were involved as well as how many other incidents they could be linked to. After the incident with the young children, Roberts said detectives believe the group went to a Wienerschnitzel restaurant, 7780 Redwood Road, and squirted water at the drive-through window teller.
As far as what the teens were planning to do if the young children had actually gotten into their vehicle, Roberts said Friday that he didn't know.
Once investigators compile a list of how many teens they believe were involved, they will forward the case to the district attorney to decide what charges, if any, will be filed.