As thousands of soldiers continued the search for three abducted Israeli teens Tuesday, sources in the command center at the Kiryah military base in Tel Aviv called the police at 6:00pm to report that yet another teenager, an IDF soldier, had possibly just been kidnapped.
In the end, the report proved to be nothing more than an ill-timed joke.
In light of police failure to respond in the first few hours after the three teens were kidnapped almost two weeks ago, officers responded to Tuesday's report from the Kiryah almost instantly, ordering the set up of road blocks across central Israel.
After several failed attempts to contact the supposedly kidnapped soldier, police finally managed to reach him on his cell phone. The soldier told the officer that a large man had grabbed him and forced him into a large vehicle with tinted windows and that he didn't know where he was located. Then the call was abruptly disconnected.
Dozens of police officers began searching the area of the reported kidnapping with the help of a police helicopter while others used technology to try and pinpoint the location of the soldier's telephone. Large amounts of traffic built up in the area.
As information trickled in, police were able to narrow the search to the city of Tel Aviv - somewhat odd in the case of a kidnapping. Throughout the search police repeatedly tried to contact the soldier through phone calls and text messages. The missing soldier would periodically respond, repeating that he was in the back of a vehicle and had no idea as to his whereabouts.
By 8:00pm police had tracked his cell phone signal as traveling north on a main highway just outside of Tel Aviv. Police manning a roadblock at Glilot Junction stopped a bus where they found the "kidnapped" soldier safe and sound.
The soldier was taken to a local police station for questioning related to the supposed prank. The IDF spokesperson released a statement saying that, "Police have opened an investigation on the incident."
In another incident almost a week ago, a soldier in southern Israel called the police and reported that she had been kidnapped. Police were able to trace the call to a military base and passed on the information to military police who are now investigating the incident.