Bogus Calls To Police Could Lead To Serious Trouble, TPD Warns
TULSA, Oklahoma - Tulsa Police have a warning about a growing trend across the country called “swatting”.
That's when someone makes a bogus 911 call that brings in a heavy police response.
Officers say the caller can face serious charges and jail time.
The FBI said it happened about 400 times last year.
Here in Tulsa, swatting isn't a problem just yet, but bogus calls that create a scene aren't taken lightly.
Police said Christopher Caskey not only called in a fake kidnapping but also a bogus bomb threat, hoping to divert police from the bank he robbed at 36th and Yale last month.
"Both of those are going to be calls that are going to get a large police presence at that location,” said Jeanne MacKenzie with TPD.
That's the goal of swatting and it's a nationwide trend.
A 25-year-old man is now facing charges in two countries after police say he made a prank call to police in Canada and a hoax 911 call in Kansas that led to a father of two being shot and killed by police.
The FBI is investigating whether the fake call was made after an argument over an online video game.
"It's a very dangerous situation," Said MacKenzie.
She says bogus calls are a huge waste of time and resources which are already slim.
"That actually puts real citizens who need real help from officers, it puts them farther down on the list of when a call is dispatched for them," said MacKenzie.
The callers usually use a spoof number but police are confident they will track down the prankster.
"If you're involved in some bogus call that results in the death of an individual in any way, you could be charged with that person’s death, regardless whether or not you pulled the trigger or you were even at that location,” said MacKenzie.
Caskey was arrested and police say his case will likely go to the federal level.
Police want parents to talk to their kids, who might not understand that swatting is a crime.
Officers say kids pulling 911 pranks is nothing new, but when it's a serious call like a shooting or hostage situation, it could really hurt their future.