A Miley Cyrus "swatting" prank ended with police rushing to her Los Angeles home, guns drawn, in an effort to stop an alleged home invasion. When authorities arrived, though, they not only found no criminals, but no Miley Cyrus either.
The Miley Cyrus swatting prank- named for the SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) teams law enforcement sometimes sends- was the brainchild of a particularly crafty "911 abuser," authorities told TMZ. The hoax was designed to send officials out to the home rapidly, wasting both time and resources.
What a waste it was. The Los Angeles Police got a call at 6:50 p.m. from someone claiming a home invasion was taking place at the Cyrus mansion, and that they may have heard gunshots. Police responded immediately with full force.
Police "[sent] a chopper, and officer with high powered weapons, who immediately set up a perimeter around the home … with guns drawn," TMZ reported. The display of force was for naught, though, as police found no one home and no signs of forced entry.
Though swatting can be costly and frustrating for authorities who have real emergencies to respond to. It also is becoming an increasing problem, according to the FBI. They locked up five swatters who caused more than $250,000 in losses and affected 100 victims in 60 U.S. cities between 2002 and 2006.
In one case, a swatter told emergency services he had shot and killed a man. The false report caused a SWAT team to arrive at the home of a sleeping husband and wife, and the 19-year-old was arrested for the prank.
Perhaps the most notorious swatter, Matthew Weigman, used his blindness- and by extension, increased hearing- to hack phones and viciously harass others. For his multiple crimes, he was sentenced to more than 11 years behind bars.
Authorities told TMZ that a similar fate awaited the mystery caller behind the Miley Cyrus swatting prank. Cyrus has been seen in Philadelphia at her boyfriend Liam Hemsworth's filming of "Paranoia."