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Authorities seek man making bogus 911 calls

August 25, 2010 12:40:26 AM PDT
Investigators are trying to track down a man who's making bogus 911 calls that feature special effects, like gunshots, and dramatic screaming.Prank calls to law enforcement stations are nothing new, but officials said this caller is targeting different stations and departments with elaborate calls.

For dispatchers at the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department station in Norwalk, it began as a call for help that turned into a murder caught on tape.

"He was very believable in his mannerisms, voice and level of excitement," said sheriff's Capt. Patrick Maxwell. "The way he led us through it, it was very believable."

The most recent call was made just after 7 a.m. Wednesday. A crying, frantic caller said he was in a dumpster behind a Chinese food restaurant off Rosecrans Avenue and needed help. It then turned deadly as gunfire could be heard over the phone.

"It was a very dynamic situation that was going on," Maxwell said. "We believed at the time that we had a shooting in progress."

The SWAT team was called out, along with two helicopters and dozens of deputies.

"I didn't hear any gunfire," said Lisa Marquez, who lives near the Chinese restaurant. "There were no shots, so I figured someone had made a fake call. False alarm."

Last week, a call was also made to the Lomita station, and authorities said he may also have called other departments.

The caller is wasting valuable, potentially life-saving resources, Maxwell said.

"This is a horrible game to play," Maxwell said. "It could cost somebody their life, bottom line."

Anyone with information on the caller is asked to call the sheriff's Norwalk station at (562)863-8711.


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