By Ron Marasco
Police showing up to accidents that never existed or house fires where there were definitely no flames. It took a little time for the Des Moines Police Department to figure out what it was...an imposter!
Twenty-two year-old Kevin Grimes is accused of dialing his radio into the Des Moines Police Department's communication frequency, and then using it to call in fake fires and crashes.
He faces 28 counts of obstructing emergency communications and eight counts of impersonating public officials, all misdemeanors.
"I mean it's a danger to the community as well," said Des Moines Police Sgt. Jason Halifax. "While he's calling in these trips, he's tying up, at least on two occasions, fire trucks and always police vehicles that can obviously be better served responding to actual true calls for service."
Grimes allegedly made the fake emergency calls starting on November 3rd out of his home on the 4700 block Northwest 50th Street in Webster Township.
Police had to err on the side of caution and respond to the calls early on.
Grimes would use real officer's names when talking with dispatchers. He'd also tie up the communication lines by turning on his radio and not say anything.
It didn't take long, however, before police caught up to Grimes.
"Our detectives did an excellent job following up on this," said Halifax. "They used equipment that they had that when he transmitted could track his location."
If convicted on all counts, Grimes could face more than 18 years in prison.
The Des Moines P.D.'s communication system is not encrypted like some others here in the Metro. They say they hope to get a more secure system in the future, but they say that's very costly.