Two sisters whose Nov. 16 kidnapping hoax activated the state Amber Alert system almost avoided having to pay the costs of police who searched for them.
Maricopa County Attorney Richard Romley and Glendale Police Chief Randy Henderlite on Thursday reversed a decision by two midlevel officers not to seek restitution.
Romley will have to petition the court to reverse some action that has already been taken after a prosecutor filed paperwork Feb. 12 notifying Judge Pamela
Franks that Glendale police no longer sought restitution from the girls.
Franks canceled a March 12 restitution hearing in Maricopa County’s Juvenile Court and rescinded her order that Corina and Brianna Young, 14 and 12 respectively, enter a community service program to raise money for the repayment, according to court records.
Glendale police spokesman Matt Brown said a sergeant and detective determined that seeking repayment might prevent people from reporting missing children out of fear of being stuck with a bill.
But Brown said Henderlite wants the repayment to prevent people from misusing the system.
The Amber Alert system is a cooperative effort between police and the media to alert the community of any kidnappings.
Franks placed the girls on probation last month after they pleaded guilty to false reporting.
Brianna Young admitted in court that she talked her sister into making the false report so she could go drinking with friends.