Woman arrested for making false reports
A Mount Morris woman was arrested during the weekend for making false reports to police about a series of local home invasions.
Cynthia Miller, 43, of 338 Steel Hill Road, is currently housed in the Washington County Jail on $10,000 bond after state police in Waynesburg arrested her at her home Saturday for making false reports to law officers and hindering apprehension and prosecution.
Bentleyville Police Lt. Mark Kavakich said the department worked more than 200 hours of unpaid volunteer overtime to investigate a rash of home invasions in Rostraver, Scenery Hill and Bentleyville Sept. 17.
“She wasted a great deal of our time,” he said. “My guys did it because they were trying to help the elderly. We haven’t put a penny of overtime in.”
Kavakich said Miller contacted state police in Washington anonymously Sept. 18 to report specific knowledge she had of the invasions.
“She identified a particular person by name, description and also stated she knew for a fact that the girl had committed the crimes,” he said.
The call was transferred to the Bentleyville police station, where she talked to an officer for 10 more minutes.
“She indicated some things that no one else knew about the robberies, which gave credence to her claims,” Kavakich said.
The next day police tracked down the woman Miller named, who fully cooperated with police – offering her cell phone number, a photo to use in a lineup and even an alibi.
When police asked who would have provided her name to police as a suspect, she immediately gave them Miller’s name and directions to get to her home.
Kavakich said the two women were involved in a property dispute.
Police went to Miller’s home and interviewed her – although she denied making calls to police or having specific knowledge of the crime.
However, something Miller said during the interview struck Kavakich, and, when he went back to the station, he reviewed the anonymous calls once more.
A place she referenced in the interview also was referenced in the anonymous calls, he said.
Kavakich contacted Miller again on Sept. 20 and Sept. 22, offering her the opportunity to share any additional information to police, although she again denied having any knowledge or involvement.
Still not satisfied, Kavakich received a search warrant to check phone records.
The search indicated that Miller called the police from her home phone several times – with the times and durations matching those made by the anonymous caller.
“I have at least four phone calls when she tried to contact law enforcement officials,” he said.
While Kavakich said a tremendous amount of time and energy was wasted on the erroneous tips Miller provided police, the investigation isn’t over.
“I have been receiving a lot of tips from informants, state police and citizens,” he said. “It hindered us, but it doesn’t stop our progress,” he said.