False reporting of a crime came back into the spotlight after a Ball Ground woman was arrested and charged early Tuesday morning with false report of a crime and giving false statements after she told police she was kidnapped alongside Interstate 575.
Lisa Bode, 44, called police Monday afternoon and said she was kidnapped after her car broke down on the interstate near the Cherokee-Pickens county line.
Bode told Cherokee 911 dispatchers she was in the trunk of a gold car, which propelled Cherokee Sheriff's Office deputies and Woodstock, Canton and Ball Ground police to engage in a hunt for the car.
Detectives were able to eventually track Bode's location and picked her up at a Burger King in Blue Ridge. She was transported back to the Cherokee County Adult Detention Center and, after several interviews, detectives were able to conclude the story was not true.
Sheriff Roger Garrison said his department does get some false police reports each year, but few are never this serious.
"This case ate up a lot of resources and manpower," he said, adding the felony charges Bode faces can potentially carry sentences up to 10 years.
The sheriff's department in 2009 had six reported false crimes, three in 2010 and only one reported this year, which doesn't include Bode's case.
Holly Springs has only had three false reports since 2008, none of which occurred this year.
Lt. Tanya Smith said two of the cases were in relation to a burglary and one stemmed from an auto accident.
The reports, she added, were "financially motivated" and the motive was soon discovered after the reports were filed.
She noted it's "extremely frustrating" for officers to learn crimes have been falsely reported as they invest not only their time, but also their hearts into solving the cases.
"It is hard to learn that something you put so much into was never real," she said.
Ball Ground Police Chief Dana Davis noted he could not recall any false reports of crime his city has received.
For Canton, the city had seven incidents of false reports in 2009, five in 2010 and none so far this year.
Det. Candy Worthy said the exact numbers could be higher as if it takes a victim a week or longer to admit to lying about a crime, officers may not change the type of crime and it stays in the system as a reported crime.
Worthy said the individuals make false reports for a myriad of reasons, such as seeking attention, wanting family or friends to believe them or to even cover up what they've done.
Worthy said detectives still investigate false reports as if the crimes actually occurred, adding officers still want to protect victims and protect and serve the community at large.
"I wish people would realize the expense that goes into investigating things that simply did not happen," she said. "People should definitely think about that before taking that next step in making a false report and remember that they can and will be prosecuted to the fullest extent."
The city of Woodstock has had only one incident of false reporting since 2009, which occurred last year.
Public Information Officer Brittany Duncan said the 2010 case was in relation to an aggravated assault.
While the department does not see many false reports, Duncan added it is indeed "frustrating" for any law enforcement official when they learn a crime actually never happened.
"It takes away from valuable time and resources which could be better spent investigating and solving crimes that actually occurred," she said.