Memphis Police say hundreds of false reports wasting resources

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis Police are dealing with hundreds of false reports each year, and the department says it's wasting valuable time and resources.

WREG asked Memphis Police for a list of false reports since 2016. We got 316 entries back.

Lt. Col. Dennis McNeil sums it up in one word: "frustrating."

"If we go on a wild goose chase, you have just taken our proficiency and clearance rate down," McNeil said. "So, it's not fair to the people who are not filing false reports. It's not fair to the victims who need our time and assistance."

Filing a false report is a class d felony, something officers tell every person who comes in to give a statement. But people still do it.

Kandace Bryant was in court in Memphis the other day. She told police her 1-year-old daughter was kidnapped, but she admits that was a lie.

Now she has a criminal charge against her. She didn't want to give an explanation when confronted.

Back in May Sancho Brown told police someone stole $600 from him after he used an ATM at a Raleigh gas station.

But police pulled the surveillance video and sure enough, Brown made the whole thing up. Turns out, he needed an excuse to tell his girlfriend, who wanted to know why the cash was missing.

Of course, most of the lies police get come from suspects who deny committing a crime, but eventually fess up.

Bobby Gipson was one of those suspects. He stole his aunt's car and traded it for drugs — something he denied when police initially questioned him.

"It was just a nervous thing, kind of, really. Just nervous, being nervous. That's all," he said.

He later admitted to taking the car once the guy he traded it to told investigators what happened. Fortunately his aunt got her car back.

I, um, I apologized to her about it," he said.

He also went to rehab because of what happened and says he's been clean for more than a month.

"It was a struggle to just admit it, but other than that, you know, it came out pretty good," he said.

Class D felonies like filing a false police report can result in prison time and an expensive fine. With that in mind, police have some advice.

Be honest and tell the truth and let the facts be the facts, McNeil said.