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Tonawanda Police asking for help tracking down 'swatters'

There have been two incidents of swatting in the Town of Tonawanda in recent months, and the police department is asking for the community's help to make arrests.

TONAWANDA, N.Y. — Tonawanda Police Lt. Tom Haynes tells 2 On Your Side they are actively trying to track down the people responsible for two recent cases of swatting.

"It's something that we certainly want to follow up on and find the person or persons responsible," he said.

"It's more than just a waste," Haynes added, concerning the police resources spent on responding to these hoax calls. "...It's criminal. What we're talking about here are real people, real lives, real police officers, real civilians. ... It's something that could turn out to be tragic."

Check out legal consequences for Swatting:

Swatting is the act of calling in a fake emergency so that swat teams respond to a house. In some cases, throughout the country, swatting resulted in wrongful arrests and innocent people getting shot by police.

Sunday afternoon, Central Police Services received a call from a young man claiming that he shot and killed his mom and that he was going to kill himself and others. The address he gave was on Princeton.

"I wouldn't call it the most prevalent crime that we have, but it does happen on occasion. ... The most recent and similar incident that we had was about two months ago inside of the town. Again, it was just false information about gun play and people being shot, and upon our response and arrival it was completely unfounded."

Tonawanda Police isn't the only agency that looked into this.

Since the initial call came through CPS, a number of police departments in Erie County that have a Princeton boulevard, street or avenue in their jurisdiction got this alert. Buffalo Police spokesperson Capt. Jeff Rinaldo confirmed that they went out to check Princeton Avenue on Sunday evening.

Anyone with information regarding the swatting incidents in the Town of Tonawanda can call the police department's front desk at 716-879-6613.

If you wish to remain anonymous, you can call their confidential tip line at 716-879-6606.  

More on WGRZ.COM:

At least half dozen 'swatting' cases in WNY

Unarmed man killed by police after ‘swatting’ prank in Kansas

East Aurora active shooter scare labeled as "swatting" prank