BOSTON (CBS) — When an Amber Alert in Springfield was issued Wednesday, Massachusetts State Police said they received many calls from concerned citizens trying to help.
“You can imagine there are a number of calls that come in. Every blue vehicle that was out there somebody was calling in and we appreciate all those calls,” said State Police Col. Christopher Mason.READ MORE: More Than 480,000 Lose Power As Nor'easter Hits Massachusetts
The parents of the 11-year-old victim specifically thanked the couple who chased down the suspect and got a license plate.
“It was the wheels,” said Benny Correa. “Wheels that is what really caught my eyes really fast.”
Correa and his wife, Amanda Disley, were out getting dinner in Springfield Wednesday night when they saw a blue car fitting the description from the Amber Alert. They called 911 and followed the car.
“When I seen it, I knew it was the car,” Correa said. “So I pulled up against it when I got to Harvey Street and I flashed my high beams and the guy pulls up his hood and covers his face and started to dart up Harvey Street and I darted right behind him.”
In video from the couple, you can see that they followed him while calling 911.
“He jumped over a curb and that’s when the high beams flashed right into his driver and I saw his complete face,” Disley said. “He threw the hood back over his face and I saw someone in the backseat pushing someone down.”
“He just started blowing through every single red light and my husband blew through every single red light with him,” Disley said.READ MORE: 'This Is A Long-Haul Event': Duxbury Could Remain Without Power For Days Following Nor'easter
The couple eventually ran out of gas and had to give up the chase, but not before getting a crucial piece of information.
“I feel relieved that my husband stepped up and that we got the plates because the plates led to them finding him on the highway,” said Amanda Disley.
The girl’s parents thanked Disley and Correa, “for their vigilance and courage for putting themselves in harm’s way to make sure she wasn’t out of their sight.”
Col. Mason said the public is the most important part of the Amber Alert system. Three criteria have to be met to trigger an alert: the abducted child has to be under 17, in serious danger and there needs to be enough descriptive information to release.
WBZ-TV’s Mike LaCrosse reports
“So we’re very careful and deliberate in our roll-out of that information and because we don’t want to undermine the integrity of the Amber Alert system,” Col. Mason said.
The system first began in 1996 following the death of 9-year-old Amber Hagerman in Texas. It’s since been implemented nationwide.
State Police said every Amber Alert in Massachusetts has been effective.
“I want to start first of all by commending the public for responding to the Amber Alert yesterday,” said Gov. Charlie Baker.
“I’m very proud of the work of the troopers that were out there last night,” Col. Mason said.MORE NEWS: Exploding Transformers, House Fires, Downed Trees And Wires Stretch Brockton Firefighters Thin During Nor'easter
The colonel said a review is done after every Amber Alert to see if any thing could have been differently.