Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

'Swatting' probed at celebs' ex-home

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LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles County sheriff's officials were looking Sunday for the person who falsely reported an emergency at a former residence of the Kardashian family.

Sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore said it's too soon to tell whether the reality TV stars are the latest victims of so-called "swatting," a hoax intended to get officers, including specialized so-called SWAT teams, sent to a home.

Deputies responded to the call Friday at a house where the Kardashians formerly lived, Whitmore said. After finding the house empty, the deputies contacted the family and went to their new home, he said. They found no crime had been committed. No arrests were made.

Kim Kardashian, who was not home at the time, decried the hoax on Twitter, calling it "dangerous" and "not a joke."

Kardashian said her mother called her after at least 15 officers arrived on their doorstep.

Whitmore said sheriff's officials and other California law-enforcement agencies will lobby state lawmakers to make "swatting" a felony.

Authorities are investigating "scores" of similar cases across the state, he said.

In some instances, the hoaxers use technology that makes it appear the calls are made from the homes where police are sent, Whitmore said.

Police last week responded to a false report of an armed robbery at Tom Cruise's Beverly Hills home. In December, a boy was arrested after, police said, he made calls that reported violence at the homes of Justin Bieber and Ashton Kutcher.

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 21, 2013 A9

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