Police: Woman filed false kidnapping, robbery reports

- Gwinnett County Police announced Monday they have filed a warrant against a Lawrenceville woman on a charge of filing a false report of a crime.

The warrant against 33-year-old Hillary Black stems from a Sept. 15 call into the Gwinnett County 911 from a woman had been kidnapped at knife point and had narrowly escaped her attacker.

According to police, Black told officers the incident took place after she visited an ATM outside of the Publix grocery store at 911 Duluth Highway just outside of Lawrenceville.

Black told officers she withdrew $200 but had another $1,200 in her purse to make a mortgage payment. 

After returning to her car, she told the responding officers that a Hispanic man jumped into the passenger seat of her vehicle and displayed a box cutter. According to Black, the man gave her turn-by-turn directions to an abandoned shopping center near Five Forks Trickum Road and Johnson Road. 

She reportedly told the officers that she thought the man was going to sexually assault her so she began to fight with him. She said that he slashed at her causing several superficial cuts to her arms. 

According to the initial report, Black said that she used her pepper spray on the suspect and he fled. 

She drove to the Walmart on the 1400 block of Lawrenceville Highway looking for a police officer. After meeting with an officer, she told him that the man stole the entire $1,400 in cash from her.

According to a Gwinnett Police news release, an off-duty, on-call detective responded to the scene and interviewed Black. He reported he saw minor cuts on her arms though she didn’t need bandages. Following his interview, the detective drove around looking for the abandoned shopping center but could not find it.

The detective then visited the Publix grocery store to view the surveillance footage.  Though the angles were not favorable, he didn’t see anyone enter her vehicle after she visited the ATM machine.

The detective reportedly decided to impound her vehicle and transport it to GCPD Headquarters for processing.

The detective secured a search warrant for Black’s vehicle.  According to the release, the Crime Scene Unit examined the vehicle and could not find blood, fingerprints, or any other items left by the suspect.  There was reportedly no evidence to indicate that anyone else was inside her vehicle during the time of the crime.

The detective decided to re-interview Black, who at first stuck to her original story. According to the release, the detective mentioned the surveillance footage from the Publix and she eventually told the officer that she made the story up and it didn’t happen.  Police say the money withdrawn from the ATM was in her purse, and she never had possession of the $1,200 for the mortgage payment. She reportedly told the detective that the cuts on her arms were from an unrelated event.

According to police, the detective escorted her out of the building.  He later visited a Magistrate Judge and obtained one warrant for False Statements. 

Police say the detective called her and told her the warrant was active. She reportedly told him that she would turn herself in, but she has not yet been booked into the Gwinnett County Jail. 

According to the release, nine members of the Gwinnett Police Department spent more than 38 hours investigating an incident that they believe never happened.

“It’s unfortunate that so many officers spent their time dedicated to a crime that never happened rather than using their time to patrol neighborhoods, conduct traffic enforcement, follow up on investigations, and completing reports to name a few,” the release said.

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