Filing a false report of a crime with police could end up costing criminals money. A bill being considered at the Capitol would allow local law enforcement to recover some of the costs associated with conducting an investigation that’s based on a lie.

State Representative Dan Knodl (R-Germantown), the bill’s sponsor, says it would allow judges to force someone convicted of lying to police to pay for reasonable personnel costs and other expenses related to an investigation.

With many local police departments facing tight budgets, Knodl says it only makes sense that resources are not wasted on a “wild goose chase” started by someone trying to mislead investigators.

The Germantown Republican says the problem came to his attention after police in his district told him the story of a man who reported his stolen credit card was used to make thousands of dollars in purchases. An investigation later found the man’s friend was using the card, with his permission.

In that case, Knodl says police spent several hours investigating before discovering the truth. He says that time could have been spent working on legitimate cases, but was wasted by someone trying to cover up a crime.

The bill is awaiting a public hearing.

AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports (1:04)

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