WEST BLOOMFIELD (WWJ) – Police believe it may be a case of “swatting” — but they’re still taking every precaution.
West Bloomfield officers are at the scene, Tuesday afternoon, at a condo complex on Orchard Lake near Lone Pine after they received a call from a man who said he shot his wife with an AK-47 and then set up explosives around his house.
Police told WWJ the man also claims that he held his neighbor hostage at Fox Pointe Condos, and then shot him — but police believe the caller might have been making it all up.
“Swatting” is a term used to describe a scam in which someone calls 911 and makes a false report. After officials arrive on the scene, that person then takes photos or video streams the police activity online — which police say the man is doing in this case.
Regardless, police say they’re not taking any chances and are making sure area residents are safe.
State laws passed in 2012 making it a felony to falsely report a crime or a medical emergency, with penalties of up to four years in prison and thousands of dollars in fines. If someone is injured during the call, the person found guilty of making the phony call can be imprisoned for up to 10 years, and up to 15 years if someone is killed during the response to the prank.
The laws also allow that swatters be ordered to reimburse all costs associated with the calls.
The FBI has estimated that a swatting incident can cost up to $10,000.
Stay with WWJ and CBSDetroit.com for more on this story.