Man who claimed he was robbed arrested for filing false police report

Published 12:58 pm Friday, June 14, 2019

A LaGrange man has been charged with filing a false report of a crime after telling police someone had placed a gun to his back and took hundreds of dollars.

John Gilbert, 33, was charged with falsely reporting a robbery that he told police occurred on the 200 block of Peters Street Friday morning around 10:30 a.m.

According to a LPD press release, Gilbert told police that a man wearing all black had placed a gun to his back, forced him into the wood line and took approximately $440 from his pocket before fleeing on foot toward Miller Street.

The LPD’s Criminal Investigations Section arrived on the scene and used camera footage from nearby businesses to determine that no crime occurred, according to Sgt. William Nelson.

“Local businesses had cameras in the area, and we were able to review those and determine the incident didn’t occur,” Nelson said. “When someone makes a report like this, that is false, it does a disservice to those that are legitimate victims. It makes people begin to question whether or not someone is being honest when something legitimately happened to them.”

Nelson said there were numerous officers involved in investigating the incident, plus dispatchers tied up, by a crime that didn’t occur.

“It takes a large number of resources to respond to this type of incident,” Nelson said. “We had almost a dozen officers involved in the initial response and initial investigation into this incident, and it took us an hour to sort all this out.”

Nelson said Gilbert told police he owed someone money for a bill, which is why he made the false report.

“It’s a crying shame that somebody would make this type of report,” Nelson said. “There are plenty of resources we would be happy to point people to if they are in a bind or that type of situation.”

Gilbert has been transported to the Troup County Jail.