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Computer Pranksters Draw Swarms Of Cops To Cary Home

A member of a SWAT team. (Credit: Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)

A member of a SWAT team. (Credit: Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)

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CARY, Ill. (CBS) – A sophisticated “SWAT-ting” prank – a false alarm that prompts a large-scale tactical response by police – has hit the northwest suburb of Cary.

Late Wednesday afternoon, Cary police say they received a computer message from a 16-year-old boy who claimed there had been a shooting in a home on Adare Drive. The teen said he was hiding in an upstairs room.

The message brought in dozens of officers and a standby for a medical helicopter flight. But it all turned out to be a hoax. The prank could involve computer hackers or “gamers,” says Cary Det. Sgt. Ed Synek.

“It’s very sophisticated in the techniques these individuals employed.  It’s quite disturbing,” he tells Newsradio WBBM.

Cary authorities say they are interviewing several juveniles. They say they wouldn’t be surprised if the investigation takes them outside the United States.

The FBI is assisting in the investigation.

“SWAT-ting” – sometimes pranksters target celebrities — has become a problem for law-enforcement agencies across the U.S.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Dave Berner reports