Sheriff issues warning to parents after a rescue of missing teenage girl during ‘routine’ traffic stop

On July 4, North Carolina police pulled over a car for a routine traffic stop when they saw something out of the ordinary: a passenger inside was a 16-year-old girl who had been reported missing by Florida police only hours earlier.

According to a news release from the sheriff’s office, Nash County deputies pulled stopped a white Audi with Florida license plates just after midnight on I-95 due to a traffic infraction.

According to the press release, deputies “developed reasonable suspicion to believe that criminal activity was afoot” after asking the driver, 40-year-old Alejandro Hernandez Vazquez, a few “routine” inquiries.

Deputies discovered that Vazquez’s 16-year-old girl passenger had been reported missing by the Coral Springs Police Department just five hours before the traffic stop after gaining Vazquez’s permission to check his car.

Sheriff issues warning to parents after a rescue of missing teenage girl during 'routine' traffic stop
Alejandro Vazquez was taken into custody and is being held at the Nash County Detention Facility on a bond of $505,000. (Nash County Sheriff)

The youngster, who had allegedly met Vazquez online, was saved by the authorities and taken to the Wake County Juvenile Detention Center, where her family picked her up.

“Monitor your kids’ social media because a lot of this stuff starts with people preying on children,” Nash County Sheriff Keith Stone told WRAL. “If you’re not monitoring what your child is doing on the internet, then there’s the possibility that people are taking advantage of them. This older guy here was taking advantage of the 16-year-old. He was carrying her up North, and I’m sure it was not in the best interest of that girl or for society.”

According to the sheriff’s office, the victim’s family was unaware of the suspect and did not authorize him to take her across state lines.

Tom Weitzel, a former police chief in Riverside, Illinois, told Fox News Digital that criminal suspects are frequently apprehended as a result of traffic stops. However, there is a movement to reduce the number of traffic stops by police in some places, like Chicago. Unconscious bias, according to the theory’s proponents, can creep into traffic stops and cause police to use unnecessary force.

Authorities discovered THC pens in the suspect’s car, leading to accusations of felony possession of synthetic cannabinoid, possession of marijuana accessory, and fostering the delinquency of a juvenile.

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