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Posted on Mon, Nov 5, 2012 : 4:44 p.m.

EMU police: Surveillance video led to discovery of false armed robbery report

By Katrease Stafford

The Eastern Michigan University student who falsely claimed he was robbed at gunpoint Friday evening on campus retracted his statement Saturday after police revealed there was no surveillance footage showing the robbery, said EMU Police Chief Bob Heighes.

EMU green map.jpg

Courtesy EMU

"We re-interviewd the victim and some of the information he shared with us did not coincide with what we had on our video cameras," Heighes said. "When that was shared with him, he retracted his statement."

Police posted a crime alert Friday after the 21-year-old student reported he was robbed by four men with a handgun at about 6:30 p.m. in the Green Lot, on the northern edge of campus near Huron River Drive.

The student told police the men demanded his money and he gave them his wallet. The student said he was punched in the face before the men fled.

Heighes said the parking lot has several cameras and none of the footage backed the student's claims of being robbed. Heighes declined to share the reason the student made the false claim.

"Those are the kind of details I don't want to get into until after we take it to the prosecutor," Heighes said.

Heighes said the report was forwarded to the Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s office for review Monday and he isn't sure when the review will take place. Authorities are not yet releasing the student's name.

If the prosecutor moves forward with the case, the student would likely face charges for filing a false police report and Heighes said the university will seek sanctions as well.

The Student Conduct and Community Standards office has reached out to the student to schedule a meeting, Heighes said. The student could face dismissal from the university.

Heighes said his office doesn't receive false reports often, but when he does, it's something that is taken seriously.

"False reports are a drain on (everyone's) resources and something we actively pursue with the prosecutor," Heighes said. "These are serious matters when you make accusations... The repercussions set the whole campus on edge and there are huge consequences when you make these types of reports."

Katrease Stafford covers Ypsilanti for her at or 734-623-2548 and follow her on twitter.



Tue, Nov 6, 2012 : 10:25 a.m.

I agree with PineyWoodsGuy that the indiividual needs to be charged. I am not interested in the student spending time in jail, but this should be on his record incase something should arise about his character in the future. What if he does the same thing 5 years down the road and falsely charges someone. It should be noted that he lied to police and filed a false claim.


Tue, Nov 6, 2012 : 3:53 a.m.

If surveillance video led to the discovery he lied, then why does the opening paragraph of the article say he retracted his statement after police reveled there was "no" surveillance footage?


Tue, Nov 6, 2012 : 5:21 p.m.

Then it should say, "...after police revealed that existing surveillance footage showed no evidence of a robbery..." or something similar.


Tue, Nov 6, 2012 : 4:28 a.m.

You truncated the statement, @YpsiVeteran. The article said "...police revealed there was no surveillance footage SHOWING THE ROBBERY [emphasis mine]." There was surveillance footage, just none that showed the robbery. Clear now?


Tue, Nov 6, 2012 : 3:41 a.m.

Let's talk Common Sense. Figure a PD Dick @ $50 an hour ($100,000 a year). Figure 10 hours to run-down the False Report = $500. The kid is a Sick Puppy; better his parents know now, rather than later. Charge him with a Felony and, at PreLim Exam in District Court, Plea Bargain it down to a Misdemeanor in exchange for a Guilty Plea. Under a recent amendment to the Crim Statutes, the Judge is Required to Order Restitution. Order the Sick Puppy to pay $500 Restitution + Fine + Court Costs. Put him on Probation with a Requirement for Counseling. Nip in the bud this "College Student Wolf, Wolf" nonsense!

Rod Johnson

Tue, Nov 6, 2012 : 2:03 p.m.

I'm always curious what the thinking is behind this Capitalize a Lot of Random Words style. I'd appreciate enlightenment if anyone has some ideas.


Tue, Nov 6, 2012 : 1:03 p.m.

Your common sense calculation needs work. What is the damage to EMU reputation due to the fact that many will never see the retraction? What is the damage to students and other living in the area that were afraid to leave their house for 3 days?

Angry Moderate

Mon, Nov 5, 2012 : 9:57 p.m.

The U of M student who reported a fake gang rape wasn't prosecuted. The MSU student who reported a fake Nazi attack wasn't prosecuted. Let's break this pattern--don't let this EMU student cry wolf.

Angry Moderate

Mon, Nov 5, 2012 : 11:45 p.m.

"No timeline" means don't hold your breath.


Mon, Nov 5, 2012 : 10:33 p.m.

She may not have been charged yet by the prosecutor, but do you know that she won't be? The last I read the prosecutor was considering charges with no timeline for a decision.