(Michigan City, IN) - Numerous police officers responded to a report of an armed bank robbery that turned out to be false in Michigan City. An effort is being made to determine if the fake bank robbery report was done on purpose and to locate the individual placing the call.
According to Michigan City Police, officers at about 4:30 p.m. on Monday were called to Horizon Bank in the 3600 block of Franklin St. Upon arrival, police said employees reported there was no robbery or any issues whatsoever inside the bank.
Per the authorities, further information was being withheld to protect the integrity of the ongoing investigation. Anyone with information that could be useful in solving the case is urged to contact the police. A reward is also being offered for tips leading to an arrest and conviction.
Veteran law enforcement officer Mike Kellems asserted that knowingly reporting a fake crime is no laughing matter. Kellems said bank robbery reports, for example, always draw a heavy law enforcement response and the sense of urgency behind those responses comes with a higher degree of risk to public safety.
“It’s a very, very dangerous situation,” he said.
Calls determined to be pranks also draw emergency responders away from their normal public safety duties, he said. Kellems is a former La Porte County Police officer, who now works in law enforcement for Purdue University Northwest at the campus near Westville and in security, primarily at U.S. District Court in South Bend.
In Indiana, false informing, depending on the level of seriousness, can be up to a Class A misdemeanor punishable by a maximum of one year in jail and as much as a $5,000 fine.