TODAY

TODAY   |  April 11, 2013

Ryan Seacrest is newest victim of ‘swatting’

Los Angeles authorities are vowing to track down the people responsible for a rash of hoax 911 calls, reporting everything from fires to break-ins at celebrity homes, as Ryan Seacrest becomes the latest victim. NBC’s Diana Alvear reports.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> all right. but let's begin this half hour with the growing problem of so-called swatting in los angeles . the latest victim of the hoax 911 call is ryan seacrest . diana, good morning.

>> natalie, good morning. los angeles authorities say each of these calls cost an average of $10,000 in wasted police resources. now, a state senator says it's time the culprits shoulder the cost.

>> reporter: this was the scene of a major police response. the home of ryan seacrest after a caller reported a break-in in progress. it was a false alarm , the latest incident of what's called s.w.a.t.ing. names of the s.w.a.t.-team type response that these hoax 911 calls prompt. last friday, police were called to the homes of selina gomez and justin timberlake .

>> one is a drain on law enforcement resources. each incident costs several thousand to over $10,000. and second, the danger this puts on law enforcement and citizens in.

>> tuesday, california state senator ted liu introduced a bill requiring the people behind the gangs to pay all costs associated with the crime. he fears without increased penalties.

>> it could be injury or death.

>> reporter: it's happening more and more. last week rihanna and sean combs were targeted. before them tom cruise , charlie sheen , and miley cyrus . so far, authorities did charge at least one person in past incidents involving ashton kutcher and justin bieber. a 12-year-old boy who last month admitted in court to making the call.

>> and police are taking some protective measures. they're training emergency dispatchers to better detect false calls and sending less patrol cars . natalie?

>> all right. diana, thank you.

>>> al has left us for