JOIN
OUR EMAIL LIST!

911 Dispatchers Reveal Which Crimes Happen More Than You'd Think

911 operators get tons of calls every day, and a surprising number of them are for the same types of crimes - identity theft, drugs, and larceny are fairly common. But some people call emergency services for some pretty strange reasons, like being lost, or feeling lonely.

BlupHox asked, [Serious] 911 dispatchers, what's a crime that happens more often than we think?

Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.

I need a button for when the bank robs me. #overdraftfees

I remember being surprised by how many bank alarm calls there were. Turns out, bank tellers accidentally bump the silent alarm button fairly often.

Remember the 72-hour rule? It's silly - and do missing people know they're missing? What if they just want to be left alone?

Cop here, not a crime, but the amount of missing people reported is insane. Normally juvenile runaways but I feel like it's hundreds a day.

It takes some gall to just steal a canoe in plain sight...

Former 911 operator;

What surprised me was the sheer amount of big-ticket item theft...

I'm talking like they walked into an electronics store and walked out with a 50"+ TV (or two or three or whole damn pallet of them)...or walking into a sporting goods store and walking out with a canoe.

It just floored me as to how frequently it happens. I guess if you act like you're supposed to be walking out of the store with a canoe, people don't seem to ask too many questions.

That's not a bomb, it's a 40.

My friend who was a 911 operator says that suspicious packages are reported all the time. 99.9999% of the time they're backpacks left by homeless people.

Man, people are really sensitive and paranoid.

As a former 999 operator, these 'crimes' were reported regularly-

Car parked across someone's driveway

Neighbors having a barbeque

Fireworks, even on Bonfire Night or New Year

Kids 'hanging around'

Children playing football

'I'm really drunk and I've lost my friends and I haven't got any money left, you need to come and pick me up' (No, we won't)

'Yeah, what it is yeah, it's all kicking off, get down here now!'

Let kids run their lemonade stands.

Lest anyone forget, you forgot to add to your list the ignorant aholes who call cops on little kids for running a godd_mn lemonade stand.

It's hard to find anyone that hasn't lost someone close to suicide.

Mom does dispatch. Not actually a crime per se but suicides. The number of times she tells me about talking to a parent/spouse/child that just found their loved one dead from suicide is depressing in and of itself. We live in Utah so our suicide rate is higher than almost everywhere in the nation.

Domestic violence has reached epidemic proportions in the United States.

Criminal lawyer here who has to listen to 911 recordings daily.

Family violence. Husband/wife, parent/child, elder abuse.

Almost every victim tells me by the time it's a criminal offense that's reported, it's been going on for years. And usually? It's someone from outside the family that reports.

Lots of people fall and then can't get up.

Alarm Company Dispatcher here

Old people slip out of bed ALL THE TIME. You don't really think about it but if they can't really move, they will probably just get into bed barely resulting in them falling out of bed during the night.

Life lesson: don't leave valuable stuff in your car. Learned that the hard way in DC years ago.

Larceny from your vehicle. Especially when your car is unlocked (which is stupid to ever do). People who break into cars for a "living" are quick, able to get in and out without breaking anything, and will take anything they can find.

Seems like every few months I need a new debit card because of fraud.

On the non-emergency side of the police calls we get, fraud and identity theft are really on the rise. Especially preying on the elderly, calling and saying a loved one is in jail and making them "pay" over the phone for bail. We have dozens of fraud calls pending every day. People are so trusting and naive to the fact that people are scamming them.

Welp, TIL DUI cases usually don't go anywhere, despite how cut and dry they appear to be.

DUI. We may have the plate, the location, the info of the driver but if the officer can't find them there's nothing that can be done.

To add onto that, I might tell an officer that they are obviously intoxicated and they clear the call with nothing done. They do that because DUI cases are a pain in the ass and often don't amount to anything which is a shame considering the amount of work that goes into them.???????

Living in New York City will teach you to take threats of towing seriously.

I had no idea how many cars get towed out of private lots. Years ago my wife and I were out and she suggested we just park in some strip mall's lot. There were signs everywhere advising you'll be towed so I decided against it.

Fast forward 4 years and I work for the agency that covers that parking lot. They tow a few cars every night. Never knew so many places made good on the threat.

Have you ever gotten a call saying you'd be arrested for owing money to the IRS? It's a scam, don't panic.

1) identity theft. Literally all the time. There are 100 different ways to do it just as many ways to cover your tracks.

2) scam callers claiming to be the publishers clearing house or the lottery or the IRS. I have people calling from the other side of the country claiming someone from my PD called and said they have a warrant and if they don't pay they will be arrested.

Here's a suggestion: don't get naked for strangers on Skype.

(S)extortion, by which I mean people getting naked for a stranger during a Skype chat, that stranger records and/or takes a bunch of screenshots, and then tells them it'll take $500 or more to prevent the video/pictures from being all over Facebook.

This used to be an occasional deal, maybe once every couple weeks, but lately, there are a few that come in every other day. A lot of it seems to come from the Philippines, or at least that's where the money gets sent, and yes some people do send the money.

Gangs are a symptom of a broken society that leaves people behind.

911 Dispatcher here. Gangs are very common. The most affluent part of my county has a rather dangerous gang and all the rich people in their gated communities are either ignorant or in denial. One woman was even offended that I even suggest the very notion it was possible.

Calling the cops because you're lost? Genius.

My mom is a dispatcher. Kind of different, but apparently she gets a large amount of non-emergency calls or people who can't explain where they are which isn't very helpful for her. I also imagine these callers are taking up a space that would be better used for an actual emergency.

There are hotlines people can call if they are feeling desperate.

People who phone wanting attention. I mean people who are lonely or bored.

It's saddening how many people phone up and say they're in pain/bleeding anything to get an ambulance and once the paramedics are there and assessing them, there is nothing wrong but they just wanted someone there.

Part of me wishes that people who do this and waste police/fire/ambulance times should be fined the amount it costs to send them out but then part of me realizes that these people may/may not have mental issues that aren't being met so where does the blame lie.???????

Lock your phones, people.

OH. Forgot about this one. Misdials of 911, especially babies playing with phones.... you have no idea how often babies happen to hit the right combination of keys to call 911 or activate the phone emergency functions. I mean it is a LOT. We get dozens and dozens of them a day.

Image by Tumisu from Pixabay

There's something seeing a person litter that drives me up the wall. I remember being a kid and being explicitly told to hold on to my trash and not just throw it in the street. As a kid, I distinctly remember being made fun of for not just throwing the bag of chips I'd just eaten or an empty soda bottle into the gutter.

I can't imagine doing that. Why?! We truly treat this planet as if we have somewhere else to go.

After Redditor pnrddt asked the online community, "What small action immediately makes you dislike a stranger?" people shared their observations.

Keep reading... Show less
Image by Arek Socha from Pixabay

When you're in the market for a slew of very specific facts that all fall under the same general theme, the internet really delivers.

Forget streamlined public health capabilities and revolutionized human communication, the true beauty of the internet is all the random, barely useful information you can find when a bunch odd people decide to assemble and swap info.

Keep reading... Show less
Image by Alterio Felines from Pixabay

Working in a doctor's office means helping people when they're at their lowest. Sometimes, that leads to wonderful moments when the patient is thankful for all the advice and care you provided. Other times, it means taking something out of someone's bum.

Turns out, that second one happens a lot more than you might think.

Keep reading... Show less
Image by Sammy-Williams from Pixabay

I love movies. The cinema has long been a savior of mine and has given me some of my greatest inspirations. But being an avid film watcher has also made me quite the critic. I can always tell when a movie is worth the money to see in theaters or wait until it's on basic cable with commercials. The signs of mediocrity abound, and sometimes they aren't that difficult to spot.

Redditor u/fjv08kl wanted to know what is obvious about mediocre cinema by asking.... What are some subtle 'red flags' that tell you a movie is not worth watching?
Keep reading... Show less