Man Behind Fairfield County SWAT Prank May Be Tied To Others

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There’s new information on a hostage and bomb threat in Fairfield County that turned out to be a hoax.  

10TV has uncovered an identical prank in Indiana, and investigators say they're confident it's the same caller.  

On Sunday, March 23, SWAT officers surrounded a home in Millersport after a man called 911 demanding money and claiming he had hostages and explosives.  

The entire ordeal turned out to be a prank.  

10TV’s Maureen Kocot found information on an almost identical hoax on February 16 in Zionsville, Indiana.

A man told Indiana sheriff’s dispatchers, “I have three hostages and I have explosives all around my house and I want 100,000 in a clear plastic bag sent to my door with an unarmed officer.”  

Three weeks later, Fairfield County Sheriff’s Dispatchers received an almost identical call.

"$100,000 in a clear plastic bag delivered by one unarmed officer,” the caller said.

In both calls the prankster sets a deadline.  The caller tells Indiana dispatchers they have 45 minutes, and tells Ohio dispatchers "You have 30 minutes.  Otherwise I kill everybody."

Investigators call it ‘swatting’ - fake 911 calls that send SWAT teams to the homes of unsuspecting innocent people.  

Investigators say many of the culprits are calling 911 via Skype.  That makes it more difficult to trace the call, because it can be made using free public Wi-Fi using an IP address that's assigned to many users in one day.  

But Fairfield County Sheriff Dave Phelan says investigators have the technology to lead them to the person who created this chaos.

"It's complicated. It's difficult,” said Phelan, “But we do have the ability to do that.”

Investigators hope they track the suspect soon before another family is targeted.