Crank Call Locks Down LOMS

Written by Estero Bay News

June 6, 2024

The Sheriff’s Department is working with its counterparts in Arizona to get to the bottom of who phoned in a threat against a local middle school.

According to Sheriff’s spokesman, Tony Cipolla, at about 2:50 p.m. Wednesday, May 22, a school staff member received the call on their personal cell phone, stating a “generalized threat made against Los Osos Middle School in Los Osos,” Cipolla said in a news release.

School massacres are now amongst the horrors of the nation, and countless little towns like Los Osos have found themselves stuck in the same nightmare; the Sheriff’s Department took the threat seriously.

“Out of an abundance of caution,” Cipolla said, “the school was placed on lockdown. Since school was scheduled to be let out for the day at 2:55 p.m. students were evacuated with a heavy law enforcement presence on the school campus.”

Meanwhile a thorough search of the school — inside and out — was conducted and the site was cleared.

Detectives went to work on the apparent prank and traced it back to a habitual crank caller.

“The Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit,” Cipolla said in a second news release a few days after the first, “has identified the suspect who made the threat against Los Osos Middle School.”

For once, it essentially came down to the usual suspects.

“Detectives were able to track the phone from where the threat call originated,” Cipolla said. “It was located in Peoria, Ariz., and belonged to a 13-year-old juvenile who had made similar calls to schools in other locations throughout the country.”

He added that law enforcement in Arizona was investigating, and it’s presumed that if charges are filed, the prankster would likely face justice in Arizona and not be extradited all the way to SLO County for trial.

In the end, the Sheriff’s Department deemed the threat “unfounded.”

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