MEDINA, Ohio (WJW) — The Los Angeles Police Department says they’ve linked a Northeast Ohio teen to more than 30 nationwide bomb threats and prank calls made to emergency services, also known as swatting.
Police say the group that operates on the Discord chat platform online consists of three teens between the ages of 13 and 16 residing in Medina, Ohio; Yonkers, New York and a US citizen living overseas in the country of Cyprus.
The investigation shows they were allegedly using advanced software, overseas servers, and privacy tools to hide their electronic trail in two incidents in September, one incident in August and 30 other incidents dating back to July 2020.
The LAPD says the teens targets involve other online persons, video gamers, activists, schools, airports, houses of worship, entertainment venues and memorial parks.
It is believed the incidents were racially motivated.
On November 9, search and arrest warrants were served in Yonkers and Medina. Numerous electronic devices were also seized and are pending forensic analysis by the FBI and the US Secret Service.
The LAPD Major Crimes Division is expected to present the case against all three suspects to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office for charges of criminal conspiracy and creating a false emergency.
They say they’ll also make a request that these incidents are considered a hate crime.
No arrests have been made at this time.