Fears that a teen girl was kidnapped Friday morning in Long Beach turned out to be unfounded, but the incident appears to be related to prostitution, police said Friday afternoon.

Officers were sent to Long Beach and Artesia boulevards about 6:20 a.m. “regarding a possible kidnapping,” the Long Beach Police Department reported.

“The calling party said they saw a (man) grab a female … 13-16 years old by her waist and put her in the front seat of (a) van,” police said.

After an extensive investigation and the notification of the public and other law enforcement agencies, the van was located by sheriff’s deputies in the 16400 block of Lakewood Boulevard in Bell, according to Long Beach police Sgt. Brad Johnson.

The van driver cooperated with police, he said.

It was not immediately clear if the female who was seen is a juvenile victim in a suspected prostitution operation, Johnson said, but he praised the caller who saw suspicious activity and called authorities, launching an intensive, cooperative investigation.

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