Swatting hoax prompts bomb squad in Marple Township

MARPLE TWP., Pa. - September 16, 2013

Authorities were called to the 200 block of Carlton Drive Monday afternoon where a 911 caller claimed a man had a bomb inside.

Roads were shut down and robots were deployed.

Officers stood by with guns drawn, but soon investigators realized it was all a prank.

"There were some inconsistencies we were getting from the 911 center in caller information," Marple Township Police Chief Tom Murray said.

SWAT units went in, but the homeowner was down at the shore.

It appears it was a prank called swatting - the act of tricking emergency services into dispatching resources to a home.

High profile actors Ashton Kutcher, Tom Cruise, and the Kardashians have all reportedly been the victim of swatting.

Last week, California's governor signed a new law where swatters or their parents will be responsible for the total cost of a response which sometimes can be more than $100,000.

Marple police say they have no suspects.

Investigators are still working to trace the origin of the call, but they vow they'll bring the full force of the law down on them

"Nobody needs this. The neighborhood doesn't need this. They deserve to be secure in their homes, not have something like this unfold on their streets," Murray said.

Many law enforcement agencies are refusing to comment or even confirm swatting incidents because officials say it seems to encourage more pranks.

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