A woman has been hit with a fixed penalty notice after a bogus report of a burglary.
On 2 June 2012, police were called to Louise Gardens in Smallbridge following reports of a break-in at the house during which a car – a blue Citreon Saxo - had been allegedly stolen.
House-to-house inquiries did not significant assist the investigation and there were no forensic opportunities.
However, on 19 July 2012, the investigating officer was notified by the DVLA of a request to register the supposedly stolen car from someone in Stockport.
Officers attended and established the car was the same as that allegedly stolen during the ‘burglary’ but no attempt had been made to alter the vehicle in any way.
The 26-year-old woman who reported the ‘burglary’ was then spoken to again at length and remained adamant it had been stolen. However, further inquiries by police led them to a vehicle trader in Heywood who was able to prove he had in fact bought the car legitimately from the woman.
Officers then confronted the woman who, in the face of overwhelming evidence, confessed to falsifying the report as she needed the money. She was issued with a £80 fixed penalty notice for wasting police time and the car itself is now lawfully with the Stockport owner who bought it in good faith from the vehicle trader.
Sgt Andy Fern said: "Anyone who has been a victim of burglary will know how deeply unsettling it is to have your privacy invaded, so to falsify such a report is an insult to all those genuine victims, not to mention a total waste of police time and resources that would be better served being out on the streets and protecting people.
"Neither the vehicle trader nor the car’s new owner had any reason to suspect they were being duped and both are completely blameless – they themselves were victims of this woman's deception.
"However, both myself and my colleague PC David Copley were not satisfied with this woman’s report and we were utterly determined to get to the truth. Eventually this tenacity paid off and we followed a trail of badly scrawled receipts to uncover the deception.
"I hope this both reassures the public we will not rest until offenders have been caught out, but also sends a message to anyone thinking of concocting such a scam that all reports of burglary will be investigated thoroughly and we will get to the truth."