Tom Cruise has become the latest victim of swatting because his home was used in a prank 911 call. Someone called the police to notify them that an armed robbery was in progress at Tom Cruise’s mansion. Police rushed to the Beverly Hills house and discovered the call was faked after seeing there was no sign of a robbery. Cruise was not home at the time of the incident, but his chef and a member of his security team spoke with the police.
“Swatting is a strange and new hoax that is affecting celebrities in California. People are calling the police and claiming that crimes are occurring at their homes, yet these calls are just pranks. Police have responded to several of them and believe a pattern is starting to emerge. The hoax has been labeled as swatting because SWAT teams are often called in due to the nature of the alleged crimes.
“Police are not releasing many details about the case, but it is clear that Tom Cruise was the latest victim. His home was falsely identified as the site of an armed robbery in progress. After police arrived on the scene, they discovered members of his staff who were confused by their presence. There was no indication that any type of robbery or other crime had happened on the actor’s property. There have been no arrests associated with this case.
“Justin Bieber and Ashton Kutcher have been identified as other victims of swatting. Miley Cyrus and Simon Cowell have also had similar problems with the hoax. Kris Jenner’s home recently received a response after a prank call that included a SWAT team of 15 people and three helicopters. Police have found one person who was responsible for their prank calls and arrested him. They believe someone else was responsible for the Tom Cruise prank 911 call, so they are continuing to investigate the case and collect evidence.
“Swatting can carry a sentence of one year in jail for making false phone calls to 911. It is also possible that other charges could be added to this. Police claim that each hoax takes up an enormous amount of resources, and sometimes 50 percent of all available emergency services are deployed. Although some question why celebrities would require a SWAT team for each 911 call, in Beverly Hills this seems to be the norm. Swatting is still considered a crime.