Swatting, or the practice of calling emergency services with details of a phony high stakes crime with the hope of eliciting a scary and potentially dangerous response from local SWAT teams, has been a problem for years, with software used to obfuscate the original caller’s identity making it hard to track down those responsible. Sometimes though, the police do manage to find out who was behind it, and now after a triplet of fake calls back in January this year, a 13 year old has been picked up in Camarillo, California.
The boy, who has not been named due to his age, was reportedly responsible for three calls to different people earlier this year, one of whom was his teacher and another a gamer he’d met online. In each instance he used a program to hide his real phone number from the police and called, detailing a home invasion and a hostage situation. In each case, the local SWAT team was sent in, only discovering after evacuating houses and blocking off local streets, that the calls were fake.
When her son was arrested, the boy’s mother was said to be shocked at his actions, having no idea what he’d been up to. Detective Gene Martinez, one of the investigating officers, said that (via CamarilloAcorn): “Parents need to be cognizant of what their children are doing. In this situation, I’m told this juvenile came home from school, closed the door and was on his computer until the morning.”
Although the boy’s age will give him some protection from the law, he will likely receive some form of probationary sentence.
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KitGuru Says: Although a pretty heinous crime, it seems likely that this could have been avoided with a bit more parental supervision.