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Friday
Apr122013

LAPD Will No Longer Publicize Celebrity Swatting Cases

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Los Angeles police have a plan to stem the celebrity swatting epidemic that has targeted several stars, such as Ashton Kutcher, Tom Cruise and Justin Timberlake.

The LAPD has decided not to publicize such cases going forward.  It said Thursday that it believes the perpetrators of the swatting incidents make false emergency calls in the hope that they will garner media attention.

The LAPD said in a statement, "As a means of reducing or eliminating that motivation the LAPD will no longer publicize or provide any information publicly regarding these false 911 calls.  It is our department's intention to protect the public through the elimination of false 911 calls for service that depletes those officers' resources that are critically needed to protect our community."

Former FBI agent Brad Garrett, an ABC News consultant, doesn't think this will halt the false police reports.

"The police believe they can keep this quiet," Garrett said.  "That's not realistic based on the people who are getting swatted.  These are high profile, typically movie star type folks who are in the public and in the media everyday anyway."

This month alone, Timberlake, Selena Gomez, Diddy, Rihanna, Russell Brand and Ryan Seacrest have been swatted.

In March, a 12-year-old boy admitted to swatting Kutcher last fall. 

Garrett explained that people shouldn't be surprised at the age of that suspect, as spoofing services, which are used to disguise the callers' true location, are cheap and easy to employ.

"And any kid today whose technologically savvy -- which is virtually every kid -- could be doing this," Garrett said.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio