Wasting a lot of time: Suburban hostage hoax ties up at least 12 officers

\Wasting a lot of time\: Suburban hostage hoax ties up at least 12 officers
Report of hostage taking in Saskatoon turns out to be hoax
Saskatoon police are trying to find the person responsible for making a false report about a hostage taking in the city on Monday morning. 

Saskatoon police are trying to find the person responsible for making a false report about a hostage taking in the city on Monday morning.

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The call resulted in a significant police response in the Willowgrove part of the city, according to a press release. At 8:40 a.m., a man called Saskatoon police, identified himself and claimed he was at a residence on Lucyk Crescent and was holding two people hostage. The caller also claimed he had shot one of the hostages in the knee, demanded a ransom and said he was armed with guns and explosives.

After arriving at the home the caller claimed to be calling from, police determined the call was a hoax, and that the residents in the home were not involved with the call.

The caller demanded a ransom after claiming he had shot one of the hostages in the knee and had guns and explosive devices, according to a police news release. 

Police located a man in the city with the name given by the caller, but found he was also not involved. Police are continuing to investigate the hoax, but said there is currently very little information to go on.

Police paramedics responded, but soon determined that the call was a hoax and that the residents at the home on Lucyk Crescent were not involved in any way.

The incident bears a resemblance to the practice of swatting, which has become a serious problem for police forces, especially in the United States. Swatting is a tactic meant to deceive police forces into believing a serious incident is happening at someone’s home.

Usually, the caller making the false report will claim an active situation involving a gun is in progress, such as a hostage taking. The goal is to provoke a heavy police response, potentially involving a SWAT team. In this instance, a SWAT team did not respond to the call.

A situation involving a man calling the Saskatoon Police Service claiming he held two people hostage and had guns and explosives was a hoax. 

A watch commander with the Saskatoon Police Service said that while police don’t use the term swatting, the event did have many similarities with other instances of swatting.

Anyone with information on this incident is asked to call the SPS at 306-975-8300 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call the Saskatoon Police Service at 306-975-8300 or Saskatoon CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

Police had to respond the way they did in case the threat turned out to be real, said Obst, echoing statements previously made by authorities in the wake of the significant police responses to the infamous white powder scares perpetrated by Alexa Emerson.

Officers say a man called in to the Saskatoon Police Service at about 8:40 a.m., identified himself and told police he was at a home on Lucyk Crescent where he was holding two people hostage.

"If you've got 10 or 12 police officers, a canine unit, an ambulance unit deployed to one certain part of the city, obviously there are other parts of the city that are being left alone or neglected," said Obst.

Saskatoon police responded Monday morning to what they thought was a hostage situation in the Willowgrove area.

Officers say a man called into the Saskatoon Police Service at about 8:40 a.m., identified himself and told police he was at a home on Lucyk Crescent where he was holding two people hostage.

The man told police he had shot one of the hostages in the knee and demanded a ransom. He also said he was equipped with firearms and explosive devices, according to police.

A Saskatoon resident living in the city's Willowgrove neighbourhood found his street swarming with at least 12 police cars and cruisers Monday morning.

Once on the scene, police and personnel from Medavie Health Services West quickly realized the call was a hoax and that residents inside the home were not in any way involved in the incident.

Police were able to track down another man, whose name was used by the caller, but determined he wasnt involved in the hoax.

Anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to contact the Saskatoon Police Service at 306-975-8300 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

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