A woman called 911 on Sept. 15, saying she had been kidnapped and robbed at knifepoint from an ATM at a Lawrenceville Publix. After a week of investigation, Gwinnett County police discovered it was an elaborate lie.
Hillary Black, 33, of Lawrenceville, is wanted on a charge of false statements, the Gwinnett County Police Department said. Black told a police officer she would turn herself in, but has not yet been booked into the Gwinnett County Detention Center.
Police spent 38 hours investigating the case, utilizing five uniform officers, one supervisor, one detective and two members of the crime scene unit, according to a department release.
Black called 911 around 11:15 a.m. on Sept. 15 and told the operator a Hispanic man had approached her at an ATM at the Publix on Duluth Highway in Lawrenceville and threatened her with a box cutter. The man forced her into her car and made her drive to an abandoned shopping center, where he tried to sexually assault her, but she fought him off, she later told police. The man also took $1,400 cash from her, she told police.
After interviewing Black, an officer tried to find the abandoned shopping center she had described. She said it was at the intersection of Five Forks Trickum Road and Johnson Road, but the officer could not find any shopping center like the one she described, according to a department release.
Publix surveillance footage showed Black going to the ATM, but nobody could be seen getting into Black’s car besides her. Officers searched Black’s car and did not find any blood, fingerprints or other items that could have been left behind by the alleged assailant, according to police.
When a detective questioned Black about her story, she initially stuck to it. Black said she made the story up after the detective told her about the Publix surveillance footage, according to police.
The detective escorted Black out of the police station and later obtained the warrant for false statements. He called Black and told her about the warrant, and she said she would turn herself in, but has not as of Monday afternoon.
“It’s unfortunate that so many officers spent their time dedicated to a crime that never happened rather than using their time to patrol neighborhoods, conduct traffic enforcement, follow up on investigations, and completing reports to name a few,” said Cpl. Michele Pihera, a department spokeswoman.
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