MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Memphis police say false reports are a problem in the Bluff City.
Last May, officers scrambled to find a stolen car. It was reportedly taken with a 10-year-old girl inside.
However, when police found that stolen car there was no girl.
Later, 24-year-old Deangelo Thompson admitted to lying to police. He plead guilty to felony false reporting and is currently serving one year of probation.
Louis Brownlee, spokesperson for the Memphis Police Department says false reporting puts lives at risk.
'We’ve had situations where people left their car running, unattended and they want us to work harder, so they’ll say ‘oh my child was in the car,’ or ‘my child was kidnapped,’" Brownlee said. “It’s a drain on resources, it takes men and women away from solving real crimes and assisting citizens who are in real need.”
Actor Jussie Smollett is currently facing a prison sentence of one to three years for creating a false police report claiming he was the victim of a hate crime.
Brownlee says he is glad Chicago police are making a very public example of the actor.
“With him being caught, that goes to show that law enforcement is not playing. We have issues in our city and in our country and we don’t want people to exploit those,” Brownlee said.
Memphis police say they will not hesitate to prosecute those who abuse police resources.
“We want to put people on notice, let police officers do their job,” Brownlee said.