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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami Police announced late Monday afternoon that an arrest had been made in the case of a child abduction.
Police released pictures of a woman wanted for the kidnapping of a 6-year-old boy that was fortunately recovered within moments of being taken.
Now, authorities are grateful for the television coverage of the crime.
She was arrested after the victim identified her in a lineup.
Spokesman and Officer Mike Vega tells CBS4’S Peter D’Oench, “We really appreciate the TV coverage. A TV viewer called in a tip and we discovered her at the Camillus House in Miami. The victim went to a lineup and identified her. Now charges are pending and this was all because of the TV stories that lead to this arrest.”
Police have identified 50-year-old Katherine E. Hatcher as the suspect they arrested.
She’s being charged with Kidnapping.
According to police, the kidnapping took place the afternoon of March 4, at 3940 N. Miami Avenue.
The boy was at Swampspace Gallery where he normally goes to spend time with the owner and the owner’s daughter.
While the boy was there, police say, Hatcher entered the gallery through an open rear door.
The gallery owner did not know the suspect and asked her to leave the premises. As she left, she grabbed the child by the arm and walked away with him.
The gallery owner wasn’t sure if Hatcher was related to the victim, so he contacted the Design District Security to review footage and notify police. Then, he ran out and confronted the woman.
Police say he determined that the child and the woman were not related, so he grabbed the child and walked him back to the gallery to await police.
Hatcher simply walked away.
Police contacted the child’s parents and searched for the suspect but did not find her.
D’Oench spoke with the gallery owner, Oliver Sanchez.
“The woman came inside the gallery through the back door and grabbed him and said he did not belong here,” said Sanchez. “There was some confusion. A few days ago the boy and his parents had run into this woman and even though she was a stranger the boy may have though his family knew her.
“I had to do something. It did not feel right. She look disheveled and manic and it did not feel right. I went outside as you saw on the surveillance tape and stopped her and grabbed her and she said call the police and I told her I did and they were on their way and she took off on foot.”
“I felt I had to do something,” he added. “I’ve been in this area for 20 years and I grew up in south Florida and I had to do something. We have to do everything we can to protect our children. We are just 2 blocks from the onramp to a highway and God knows what might have happened. I do not feel like a hero, just Oliver from Swampspace the Gallery.”
Officer Vega called Sanchez a hero.
“Think of what might have happened had he not done anything,” Vega said. “Who knows what might have happened to this child. He risked his life because he did not know what this woman might have had with her. He is a hero. And this is another reminder about how children need to be careful and stranger danger. If a stranger come towards you like this, yell and scream and look for police and do anything you can to get anyway. Certainly never go with a stranger.”