Cops: Twitter leads to arrest of Canadian teen in Melbourne High School threats

Published On: May 12 2014 11:26:06 AM EDT
Updated On: May 12 2014 12:15:58 PM EDT
MELBOURNE, Fla. -

A Canadian teen has been arrested after Melbourne police say he called in four hoax bomb threats at Melbourne High School.

Police say the 16-year-old from Ottawa was hired by a Melbourne High School student to call in the latest threat on May 7 so students didn't have to take a test by soliciting customers on Twitter.

According to a release, the suspect was found by police on Twitter claiming to be responsible for other phoned-in threats around the United States and Canada, known as "swatting."

In "swatting," a person will call in a fake emergency service call to a location and will "spoof" the phone number that is displayed to police operators, making the origin of the call difficult to detect, according to police.

Melbourne investigators began to contact other agencies in Florida, California, New York, Maryland, Connecticut and Quebec that may have responded to hoax emergency calls made by the suspect after the first threat on April 15.

After the suspect called in additional threats on April 22 and May 2, police monitored Twitter and saw the suspect communicating with a Melbourne High School student. The student solicited the suspect to make the threatening phone call on May 7, resulting in the Melbourne student's arrest, according to police.

On May 8, the Canadian teen was charged with 60 criminal offenses, including public mischief, mischief to property, utter death threats and conveying false information with the intent to alarm, according to Ottawa police.

Melbourne police say they will continue to work with the FBI to discuss any additional charges specific to the Melbourne High School incidents and the possibility of investigative cost recuperation.

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