The LSU Police Department has experienced a recent spike in falsely reported crimes, according to LSUPD Spokesman Capt. Cory Lalonde.
During the 2012-13 school year, four students have made up crimes and called them in to LSUPD, Lalonde said.
“There have been occurrences of false reports in the past, but it spiked up this year,” Lalonde said. “In the past, they were rare and infrequent.”
The crimes crafted by the students were all armed robbery, Lalonde said.
“It is a crime to falsely report,” Lalonde said. “It is criminal mischief and can have a $500 fine and/or up to six months in prison.”
Last semester, a student told LSUPD he was robbed at knife-point by Kirby Smith, but later told police he fabricated the story to prank his friends, Lalonde said.
On another occasion, a student was in a fight at Serrano’s restaurant, lost his wallet and keys and called LSUPD saying he was robbed on Tower Drive while walking home from a football game, Lalonde said.
Earlier this month, a student called LSUPD to report fighting off a would-be mugger by the Design Building and later admitted to making it up because of a problem in a personal relationship, Lalonde said.
Another student reported being robbed in the Hart Lot by Kirby Smith but admitted to LSUPD she had lost her wallet earlier in the week and was hoping to get it back, Lalonde said.
According to Baton Rouge Police Department Public Information Officer Lt. Don Kelly, BRPD does not keep the statistics of those who lie to police but false reports are not uncommon.
“Most times, it’s not so much for attention as it is to either file an insurance claim or to cover up some sort of illicit behavior they were engaged in,” Kelly said in an email.
Lalonde stressed the importance of students reporting actual crimes as soon as possible.
“We encourage people to report any criminal activity to us as soon as possible, and they do need to understand that false reports will be criminally charged,” Lalonde said. “When people report incidents such as these, we shift our current resources and a lot of times dedicate additional resources based on these reports. These types of incidents tie us up on things that could prevent us from deterring or responding to other crimes happening on campus.”
Physics freshman Colin Fulham said it’s a “rather stupid” idea to make up a crime, and he understands the issue LSUPD is having.
“Unless it was vengeance against someone, I can’t imagine a reason to make that up,” Fulham said.