Texas man lied about infant son being in stolen Jeep to get vehicle back faster, authorities say

The father was charged with falsifying a police report

A man claimed his vehicle was stolen while his 6-month-old baby was inside.

A Texas man was arrested after officials said he lied that his infant son was inside his car that was stolen outside a gas station, spurring a manhunt to get his vehicle back quicker.

The search started after 5 a.m. on Thursday when the father, 38-year-old Anthony Ray Gray, said he left his Jeep Cherokee Latitude running and unlocked outside a gas station in Houston, according to KPRC, KSAT’s sister station in Houston.

He told police he went inside the store to grab a coffee and two men jumped out of a red Kia Optima, got into his Jeep, and drove off in it.

Gray said his 6-month-old son was in the backseat of the Jeep, authorities said.

KPRC reported that Harris County and Houston law enforcement agencies sent multiple alerts about the missing child and stolen vehicle.

The vehicle was later found abandoned, but the child was not inside it.

KPRC said the child’s grandmother soon after called the police and told them the child was safe in her care.

The infant, authorities said, was actually never inside the car on Thursday morning.

The “male claims he falsified the kidnapping to get a better response to his stolen vehicle,” Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said in a Tweet.

Gray was charged with falsifying a police report, Gonzalez said. KPRC said he bonded out of the Harris County Jail on Friday morning.

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Rebecca Salinas joined KSAT in the fall of 2019. Her skills include content management, engagement and reporting.