A gentleman calls the division and wants to know the procedure for investigating a stolen car. I tell him the vehicle information is entered into the national database, and if someone runs the tag or the VIN, radio will come back to confirm it is stolen. The officers recover the vehicle and notify the owner.
The man – we’ll call him Earl – then says he needs to “adjust” his original report. You see, Earl made a report of a stolen vehicle, but after talking to his insurance company, Earl now “remembers” he was actually robbed. He “remembered” this four days after reporting the car stolen.
Being an inquisitive person, I asked Earl if the robbery details were mentioned during the report. Earl said no. When I asked why not, Earl replied, “I was embarrassed.”
Now, in my division, there is only one legitimate reason a man would be embarrassed about being robbed. The usual reason is the man picked up a lady of the evening and she kept the vehicle due to a “lack of payment.” Now I’m not sure this was the case with Earl, but after twenty-five years, I made an educated guess…. which I kept to myself…
Earl was adamant about the robbery, even though he never mentioned it to the responding officer and never called the division to have the report amended. I reminded him the vehicle is still in stolen status and “anyone” driving the vehicle when stopped would be taken into custody.
When Earl protested further, I felt it was my duty to remind him if his new story was the true story, Earl knowingly filed a false police report.
Further, I advised him if he tried to file another report for a robbery, after the original report was filed, he could be guilty of filing a second false report.
Now I don’t know if Earl’s predicament can be coded “theft of services” or possible insurance fraud, but I believe the car was stolen. I told him we would do what we can to retrieve the vehicle, but there ws nothing we could do about the “newly-found information.”