Police in North Carolina believe that what first appeared to be a twisted scheme to carjack would-be good Samaritans may have been a sick prank orchestrated by area kids.
In the pre-dawn hours Sunday, the 33-year-old victim was driving in Carteret County when she came across what she believed to be a child in distress in the middle of the road.
As she got closer, the victim realized it was not a child but a dummy dressed to look like a person. At the same time, she told police two young white males wearing dark hoodies pulled on the door handles of her locked vehicle.
The victim immediately drove away, according to Major Jason Wank, the chief investigator.
It was "absolutely the right thing to do," Major Wank said.
Deputies searched the area but weren't initially able to locate any suspects. The dummy was seized.
However, tipsters who saw a bulletin put out by the sheriff's office led investigators to three neighborhood juveniles they believed to be responsible for setting up the dummy in the roadway.
One of the three juveniles — ages 10, 14, and 17 — told investigators the whole ordeal was supposed to be a prank.
Cops say they juveniles told them they set up the dummy in hopes that someone would run it over and think they hit a real person and "freak out."
Detectives said Thursday that they'll be continuing the investigation and consulting with the district attorney’s office to determine if charges will be filed.