Delaware County Sheriff’s Office Investigating Hundreds of Prank Phone Calls
UPDATE: The Delaware County Sheriff’s Office has identified the caller as a 17-year-old male, who now resides in the Middle East. The teen was a former resident of Delaware County who has admitted to making the calls.
Police say it is unlikely the teen will face charges because he is a juvenile living outside of the U.S.
Someone is prank calling the Delaware County Sheriff's Office, calling, sometimes, more than 100 times a day. The caller is reporting phony crimes, like robberies and burglaries, and in some cases, even threatening dispatchers.
The sheriff says detectives have launched an investigation looking into where the calls are coming from and who is making them. Investigators say the caller frequently reports crimes at businesses or buildings in the southern part of the county, primarily the Lewis Center area.
The phones have been ringing off the hook at the Delaware County 911 center, but the sheriff says many of those calls have been fakes. On May 9, someone called the sheriff's dispatch line to report a robbery at a Lewis Center apartment complex. Deputies responded to the scene, but the caller claimed he was locked in a room and couldn’t get to the door.
Records show the office has been receiving fake calls from the same number nearly every day since the ninth of May. Dispatchers have logged anywhere from 20 calls to as many as 120.
Sheriff Russ Martin said, “This is not just Bart Simpson making a laughing phone call, this is serious business. They are alluding to serious offenses, and as a result of it, it's taking away resources from those people who are in genuine need of them.”
Sheriff Martin said the caller is using an Internet phone number that isn't easily traced.
We've reported in the past about incidents of swatting in other central Ohio communities, the sheriff said he doesn't believe these calls are related.
If the caller is identified, they could face felony charges.