Police relieved but frustrated when a report of crime turns out to be fake

Police: When someone lies we want them punished

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. - From the moment a call comes in reporting a crime, police dedicate resources to solving it. When it turns out to be fake, real victims like Artie Gosnell are insulted.

"It takes time and money and resources to investigate that. It takes away from my case, the $2800 robbed from me," sayd Gosnell, a Delray Beach resident.

Gosnell was cheated in a phone scam four weeks ago in Boynton Beach.

Law enforcement officers say every minute they spend on false reports, keeps them from legitimate cases like Gosnell's.

Delray Beach Police Sergeant Nicole Guerriero says false reports come in weekly.

"It happens often, to what level is different, but it happens often," says Sgt. Guerriero.

16 year old Jade Beneby claimed she was kidnapped in February of 2012 in Delray Beach, and it turned out to be a hoax. That search cost taxpayers upwards of $100,000, as nearly every officer on staff was called in to help.

Beneby was held accountable for her false report. She completed a first offender program with police.

The Palm Beach County State Attorney's Office is prosecuting 86 cases of false reporting since 2010. It is a misdemeanor crime.

"As the police department, when someone lies, we want to see them punished because of what it takes from us," said Sgt. Guerriero.

"Disheartening, very disheartening," said Gosnell.

Meanwhile, real victims have no choice but to wait.

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