CHULA VISTA, Calif. -- Police say they were able to foil a kidnapping scam before a Chula Vista couple wired $1,000 to save their daughter, who they believed may have been kidnapped.
However, their daughter was never kidnapped and the would-be kidnappers were never found.
Chula Vista retiree Dan McGinty received a call around 11:45 a.m. Tuesday in which the first thing he heard was a woman screaming and crying. Then a man’s voice told him they had his adult daughter and wanted money. The woman, who is not being identified, lives in Point Loma.
“I hear a voice screaming and crying,” McGinty said. “It sounds very much like my daughter. First thing that went through my head was I thought it was my daughter screaming and crying. It sounded like her.”
“I was terrified honestly, so I called her. I couldn’t get a hold of her, so I called police.”
Chula Vista police said they were suspicious because several similar scams have been foiled this year in the South Bay. However, Dan McGinty wasn’t taking any chances. He drove to his Chula Vista bank where the would-be kidnappers said they’d exchange his daughter for a $1,000.
“I was very scared that they would hurt her,” he said.
However, the rules changed. He called the suspects and a voice on the phone told McGinty to wire the money to a Mexico City location, at which point they would give him his daughter. McGinty was about to wire the money from a Chula Vista Rite Aid when police found McGinty’s daughter. She works overnights and was asleep with her phone turned off.
“Oh, total relief,” he said.
“I was very relieved,” Carol McGinty said. “She was very panicky. She was scared to death.”
CVPD said the McGintys acted correctly. They called 911 and tried calling their allegedly missing family member.