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Woman charged in false report

NATCHEZ — Natchez police are warning people that filing a false police report is not only a crime but also is a waste of taxpayer resources and officers’ efforts.

Natchez Police Chief Walter Armstrong made the announcement after a Natchez woman, Thelma Fields, was charged Tuesday with filing a false police report last week.

At approximately 12:30 p.m. Oct. 6, police officers were dispatched to an apartment in the 100 block of Lewis Drive, Armstrong said.

“Thelma Fields, 65 years of age, reported she was lying on the couch in her home, when she heard a loud noise at her back door,” a police report of the incident states. “Fields stated, moments later, a black male (long thick dreads, light skinned, skinny and wearing a white T-shirt and blue jean shorts) was standing in her kitchen. Fields stated, she pointed her weapon at him and he ran out the back door. Fields stated, she went to the back door and the subject proceeded to run through a wooded area, behind her apartment.”

Fields further told police she noticed damages to the door but nothing was missing from the apartment and she did not recognize the subject, the report states.

Investigators were called to the scene and obtained a video of the alleged incident.

“The video surveillance painted a different picture of events,” the report states. “The surveillance video shows Thelma Fields and her son coming out of the front door of her apartment, shutting the door behind her. The son continues to her vehicle and gets in the car. Thelma Fields stops and walks back to the front door of her apartment. Fields tries to open the door but cannot, at which time she motions for her son to come back. Her son also attempts to open the door. Thelma Fields is seen messing with the exterior front window in an attempt to open one.

“The son retrieves an object from the vehicle. Thelma Fields and her son are then observed walking behind the building, shortly afterwards, the son is seen coming out of the front door and then drive off. Officers continued to watch the video for the unknown black male intruder. Officers confirmed that no intruder was seen on video.

“The video surveillance clearly shows, Fields locked herself out of her apartment and her son was the only one capable of forcing the rear entrance door open, causing damage to it.”

Thelma Fields was later arrested and charged with filing a false police report, which upon conviction is punishable by imprisonment in the county jail not to exceed one year or by fine not to exceed $5,000, or both, the police report states.

“In addition to any fine and imprisonment, and upon proper showing made to the court, the defendant shall be ordered to pay as restitution to the law enforcement agency reimbursement for any reasonable costs directly related to the investigation of the falsely reported crime and the prosecution of any person convicted under this section,” the report states.

“If you file a false police report, we are going to arrest and prosecute 100% of the time,” Armstrong said. “A lot of man hours were wasted. This could have led to someone being hurt or killed. If nothing else, this may serve as a deterrent to others who may want to do those types of things. We very well could have been investigating any number of cases of such and just didn’t know it, but the officer was suspicious of this one from the word go based on the issues and the conversation that they had with this lady.”

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