Surrey Police detectives probing claims that a six-year-old boy was "taken against his will" and bundled into a van in Redhill, UK, have reportedly arrested a man on suspicion of perverting the course of justice.
On 25 August, a massive police search was launched following the suspected abduction in which a member of the public claimed the child was taken off the streets and forced into the back of a Volkswagen vehicle.
According to online news publication GetSurrey, the apprehended man is 26-years-old, from the Redhill area and has been released on bail until 19 September.
Previously, detectives investigating the case traced a WV Transporter believed to have been involved in the incident, however, ruled it out after speaking with the owner. During the search, Surrey Police said its "extensive and thorough investigation" had uncovered no evidence of an abduction.
Detective Superintendent Pete Fulton, a senior investigating officer, said police had reviewed CCTV in the area, conducted a series of house-to-house enquiries and checked vehicles matching the description of the WV vehicle.
"We are the sure the public understand that when information such as this is received we treat it extremely seriously and must do all we can to find out investigate what's happened," he said. "It is understandable this has caused a considerable amount of concern and confusion in the area which will last beyond just these few days.
"We will continue to work with the community and realise that this has been disruptive and had a large impact, however I hope that you are reassured that we take your safety extremely seriously. The witness has been re-interviewed at length about their account and at this stage and as a result of our enquires no further information has come to light to corroborate the report."
The victim was described by eyewitnesses as white, 4ft, and wearing a red t-shirt with blue jeans, however, police have said that no children matching that description have been reported as missing in the area. Detectives hypothesised that the boy could have been brought into the van by "an angry parent."
Superintendent Bex Smith of Surrey Police said previously: "This is an incident we are taking extremely seriously and are asking for anyone with any information regarding the child, the van or what happened to come forward.
"If you were in the area, perhaps commuting to or from Redhill train station at the time please get in touch with us if you saw anything suspicious. At this stage we are not ruling out a number of options, including whether the child and the person in the van know each other."