- Associated Press - Friday, March 7, 2014

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Authorities are working to debunk an email circulating in central Ohio that warns of attempted abductions at a popular mall.

Columbus police said an email going around last week warned that kidnappers nearly took someone’s “co-worker’s cousin” on a Saturday afternoon from the crowded Polaris Fashion Place mall.

Police Sgt. David Pelphrey tells The Columbus Dispatch (https://bit.ly/1hSP0Oc ) that it’s an urban myth, “right up there with Bigfoot.”

Pelphrey, of the police division’s sexual-assault squad, said he is not aware of any attempted kidnappings at any Columbus malls, stressing that they all have their own security and cameras throughout. Polaris mall officials also say they have no record or reports of attempted abductions.

Pelphrey said a similar email chain in 2008 falsely reported the attempted kidnappings of women with long hair at Wal-mart stores.

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Information from: The Columbus Dispatch, https://www.dispatch.com

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