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Crank Calls To Police On The Rise

Last updated on Thursday, October 4, 2007

(INDIANAPOLIS) - It’s an old problem that’s making a comeback - crank calling the police.

Word of a shooting in Broad Ripple came over the police scanner Wednesday. But, when Indianapolis Metro Police arrived, there was no one there.

Sergeant Paul Thompson says the East Side was plagued with these so-called "gone on arrival" calls last summer and fall. Thompson says people will block their numbers or use pay phones to make the calls.

Thompson says it's dangerous because police and fire will go to a scene, lights flashing, at top speed. Along with that, someone with a legitimate emergency will have to wait longer for police to arrive. That wait time can be critical in instances of real violence.

The runs also cost taxpayer dollars, as police have to use gas and manpower to go on the "gone on arrival" calls.

Calling in a false crime is a crime in itself - it's a misdemeanor offense.

Thompson admits it's hard to crack down on the problem when the calls can't really be traced.

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