E-mail warning called hoax

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WALLA WALLA - The Sheriff's Department says a recent e-mail warning motorists of a roadside gang initiation threat is most likely a hoax.

The e-mail states that "gangs are placing a car seat by the road ... with a fake baby in it ... waiting for a woman, of course, to stop and check on the baby."

The e-mail goes on to warn that when the woman leaves her car she is assaulted by gang members.

Capt. Bill White said the department has received numerous calls regarding the e-mail. He said detectives researched the e-mail and determined it was a hoax.

The e-mail also contains an official heading that reads, "Subject: Walla Walla County Sheriff's Department Alert."

"They are making it look like it is an official document and warning, but of course we don't do it that way," White said.

Anyone who received the e-mail from an unknown address - not forwarded from a legitimate contact - is asked to call the department at 524-5400 during normal weekday hours.

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