I’m sure everyone is familiar with the case where an actor reported to the Chicago Police Department that he had been physically attacked and called some pretty nasty things. We know how that turned out, but the case did shed some light on a big problem.

For various reasons, people often try to report false crimes.

Two recent cases here in Polk County come to mind.

There was an 18-year-old girl in Poinciana who purchased some headphones from a 14-year-old boy for about $20. She then determined that they didn’t work properly and she wanted her money back. The boy said he no longer had the money.

Her way of handling the problem was to report that she had been beaten and robbed of $50 from the boy.

Well, her story quickly fell apart, and she eventually admitted that she lied because she wanted to get the boy in trouble.

Another case involved a guy who reported that he had been robbed. We had an Air Unit and K9 respond, as well as many other deputies. His story also fell apart, and he confessed that he made it all up … because he didn’t want to go to work.

In addition to being a crime, making false reports tiesup valuable resources, such as 911 operators, deputies, and Air and K9 Units. Lots of money is wasted — especially if the investigation drags on — and responses to real emergencies could be delayed because deputies are busy elsewhere.

Whether it is in Chicago or Polk County, false reports waste time and money, and will get the person who made the false report in serious trouble.

Honesty really is the best policy.

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