Caller makes fake claim of bomb on SCAT bus

7:29 PM, Aug 27, 2012   |    comments
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Sarasota, Florida -- The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office is investigating a bomb threat made Monday morning regarding a SCAT bus.

Around 9:15 a.m., the sheriff's office says the switchboard received a call from an unknown number. The man on the line said authorities had 24 hours to determine which SCAT bus had a bomb on it, and then hung up.

Due to the Tropical Storm Isaac weather closures, SCAT busses were not running Monday. A thorough search of the bus depot and all busses was made, and no explosive devices were found.

Detectives are trying to trace the origin of the call and say they believe this may be another instance of "SWATing,"which is a prank phone call to lure law enforcement to a fake emergency situation. 

The FBI and other agencies that have investigated similar crimes say the hoax is committed by manipulating computers and phone equipment. Criminals spoof phone systems to make the call appear to originate locally or hack gaming systems such as Xbox LIVE to select victims or send emergency messages over the Internet connection.

Anyone with information on this case is encouraged to call Criminal Investigations at 941-861-4922. Callers can also leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers at 941-366-TIPS (8477), or online at www.sarasotacrimestoppers.com or via text message by texting TIP109 plus a message to CRIMES (274637).

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