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To Avoid Getting Towed, Man Sends Police on Fake Burglary Call: Charges

By Erica Demarest | December 17, 2015 6:41am
 Prentiss Brown, 28, was charged with reporting a false complaint to 911.
Prentiss Brown, 28, was charged with reporting a false complaint to 911.
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DNAinfo; Chicago Police Department

COOK COUNTY CRIMINAL COURTHOUSE — A man about to have his car impounded in Rogers Park on Tuesday made a fake 911 call to divert police to a "burglary in progress," prosecutors said.

It almost worked.

The officers who had been waiting for a tow truck with Prentiss Brown, 28, told Brown not to move or go near his car as they responded to the nearby emergency call, according to an arrest report.

Brown hopped in his 2008 Lincoln Continental and drove off — but was arrested by police a short while later, court records show. On a hunch, the officers asked a 911 operator to call back the person who placed the 911 call, and Brown's cellphone started to ring.

"Yeah, OK, the call was made from that phone ... but someone else made it," Brown told police, according to the arrest report. "Some guys asked me to use my phone, so I let them."

Brown refused to give police any information about the people who allegedly used his phone, police said, and he was arrested about 10 p.m. Tuesday in the 7600 block of North Sheridan Road.

The incident started earlier that evening in the 1500 block of West Jonquil Terrace, where Brown had been pulled over by police and informed his vehicle was being impounded, Assistant State's Attorney Lorraine Scaduto said during a bond hearing Wednesday.

It's not clear why the car was being towed.

As Brown and police waited for a tow truck, the officers received a "burglary in progress" call, which took precedence over Brown's situation, the police report said.

When the 911 call didn't pan out, officers returned to find Brown and his car missing, according to Scaduto.

Police spotted Brown about five blocks away, court records show, and the tow sticker had been removed from his car.

Brown, of the 6500 block of South Wolcott Avenue in Englewood, was charged with reporting a false complaint to 911. He was previously convicted of possession of marijuana in 2008.

According to his public defender, Brown works as a tax preparer.

Cook County Judge Adam Bourgeois Jr. on Wednesday said Brown could be released on his own recognizance if the Cook County Sheriff's Office agrees to provide electronic monitoring.

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