Jan 26, 2013 11:30 PM by ASSOCIATED PRESS
LOS ANGELES (AP) - California lawmakers are calling for tougher penalties for those caught "swatting," after a recent spate of the practice of phoning in false reports of crimes at celebrity homes.
State Sen. Ted Lieu says if not resolved the problem "will result in a tragic situation." He's calling for hefty fines, among other consequences to deter the pranksters, who are hoping to have heavily armed special weapons teams dispatched to their calls.
The recent hoax 911 calls have sent police to the homes of Tom Cruise, Justin Bieber, Ashton Kutcher, Chris Brown and other stars.
The Beverly Hills Police Department estimated more than half of its emergency resources were occupied with the Cruise swatting call on Jan. 17. It was just one of a rash of calls aimed at celebrities over the next several days.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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