They thought she'd been kidnapped, because that's the lie she told them.
As we now know, Bonnie Sweeten and her young daughter, Julia, were instead headed for the airport, about to hop a flight to Florida.
Now, exclusively and for the first time, we can hear and read that hoax as she first spun it.
The tapes begin with the voice of a seemingly panic stricken mother telling 911 operators she and her young daughter had been kidnapped just moments before.
"My name is Bonnie Sweeten," she says.
"We're in a black Cadillac, my daughter and I. Someone has taken our car, and they're...(phone disconnects)"
In a series of calls placed to police on May 26, 2009, Bonnie Sweeten claims to be in the trunk of a black Cadillac, each time the call abruptly cut off. Her faked frustration growing with each exchange.
"Hello, please, I keep getting disconnected. Listen...," she says.
Then, finally, Sweeten details what she says happened - a carjacking at Street Road and Southampton in Bensalem, an intersection that doesn't exist.
"They hit the back of my car, like they rear ended me like they wanted me, and I got out to deal with the accident. Please, oh God," Sweeten says.
That, she tells police, is when she and Julia were thrown into the Cadillac; they could hear, she claimed, her own car being driven away by one of the two thieves, as the other drove away with her and her daughter still inside.
Asked to describe her attackers?
"Two black men, I'd say they are at least 6 feet tall. One could be taller," she says.
Sweeten's calls set off a frantic search in Center City Philadelphia, where police had little to work with.
Using her vague description numerous cars were stopped and searched.
"I got a car on 8th and Market streets, pulling one over," an officer can be heard saying on the 911 tapes.
Dozens of police officers focused on her rescue.
But Sweeten's deception didn't end with the police, even her husband got a tear filled voicemail.
"Larry, listen to me, if I don't make it I love that baby. Please, I love you," Bonnie Sweeten tells her husband in the voicemail.
Sweeten was convicted for the crime and released from jail last year.
But a few weeks from now, she's set to stand to trial on charges she committed another fraud. Sweeten stands accused of bilking some $700,000 out of her former employer and faces the prospect of never getting out of prison again.