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Bogus reports plague DPS

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

SIKESTON - Incidents of misinformation and bogus reporting are causing problems for the Department of Public Safety.

Director Drew Juden announced Tuesday the Sikeston Department of Public Safety received a report around 11 a.m. Monday of a 12-year old female who had been kidnapped near the corner of Shelby and Blanton streets, taken to an unknown area outside of the city and sexually assaulted.

Later during an interview with DPS and the Network Against Sexual Violence investigators, the 12-year old admitted she had made up the story to cover up her absence from school and her sexual involvement with an older adult male. Additional evidence was collected from other sources that confirmed portions of the story as false.

Investigation is still in progress, with arrests expected to be made later in connection with this case.

Also a robbery reported around 10 a.m. Friday had similar results when the victim and a witness misinformed officers.

Officers scoured the area where the victim had originally told the officers the crime occurred but with no results. During the investigation, they were able to confirm the crime had actually occurred but at a substantial distance from the site identified by the victim.

These types of cases cause a lot of man hours to be wasted, Juden noted.

The juvenile case basically tied up two investigators, the reporting officer and a supervisor for an entire day, chasing down leads, until the truth finally came out, he said. Also the robbery tied up three detectives for most of the day, as well as two to three patrol officers searching two to three hours for evidence and suspects in the wrong area.

"These reports have to be taken real and seriously. Kidnapping and rape of a child is very high on the priority level and causes appropriate and immediate response by the police," said Juden. "This seems to be a growing trend which, unfortunately, causes officers to be a little skeptical when receiving reports like this."

Sikeston Department of Public Safety's Director Drew Juden encourages anyone with information about these incidents or any other crime, to call 471-6200 or 471-1500. All communications are confidential.