A 16-year-old boy has been charged after he allegedly staged his own kidnapping in Markham, York police say.
Police said officers responded to a home on Huntington Park Drive on Sept. 27 just after midnight for a report of a kidnapping.
Officers arrived at the scene and were shown a video of the apparent victim, a boy who had only recently arrived in Canada from China.
Police said the video, which reportedly showed the boy bound, gagged and wearing a blindfold, was sent to the boy’s parents in China.
Investigators said the video was sent with a ransom demand of $1 million for the alleged victim’s release.
At around 1:30 a.m., officers found the boy in a restaurant in the area of Valleymede Road and Highway 7 in Richmond Hill.
Upon further investigation, officers determined the boy had faked his own kidnapping in an effort to get attention and money from his parents.
He was charged with public mischief. He cannot be identified due to the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
“Staging an incident that results in the use of police resources when there was no such incident is a criminal offence,” a statement from police read. “It also needlessly ties up valuable police resources that are required to deal with actual emergencies.”
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact police at 1-866-876-5423 ext. 7241 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477.