The Straits Times
Published on Nov 27, 2012

Simon Cowell latest victim of Hollywood crime hoax


LOS ANGELES (AFP) - TV talent show guru Simon Cowell is the latest victim of a string of so-called "swatting" hoaxes in Los Angeles, in which police are called to celebrities' homes by false reports of crimes.

Officers rushed to his home on Sunday following a telephone report of "unknown trouble", said Mr Lincoln Hoshino of the Beverly Hills Police Department, adding that when they got there, Cowell was present but reported no disturbance.

"The caller reported that someone within the house had been tied up with duct tape and needed assistance," he said.

Other victims of the "swatting" wave - in which hoax callers report crimes in progress at stars' homes, triggering the dispatch of officers including Special Weapons and Tactics (Swat) teams - have included Ashton Kutcher, Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber.