'Swatting' calls causing problems in Flagler County

The crime is called "swatting." It's when someone uses a computer, a tablet, or cell phone to make an anonymous call to law enforcement, telling them a violent crime is happening. But when law enforcement arrives, they find the call was a hoax.

Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly says his agency has had three such calls in just over a month-and-a-half. The most recent call came in on August 2.

The caller claimed he had shot his mother with a shotgun. Deputies and other first responders respond to the scene, only to learn they'd been pranked. Sheriff Staly says this is no game, though.

Staly says the lives of first responders and the unsuspecting homeowner are at risk in a tense situation like this.

To try and catch the suspect and put an end to the calls, Crime Stoppers of North East Florida is offering a reward of up to $5,000 dollars for information leading to an arrest. The number to call is 1-888-277-TIPS (8477).