Willingboro, NJ, man arrested in series of swatting incidents
Police have made an arrest in a series of swatting incidents that targeted businesses in Gloucester County.
Monroe Township Police say between June 23 and July 20, 2022, a series of calls were made indicating a person with a gun was threatening to shoot themselves.
In each case, a business along or near N Black Horse Pike was identified as the location, and in each case a "thorough police response" was launched.
After a three-month investigation, police say they collected "various digital evidence" linking the bogus calls to Rakim Anderson, 28, of Willingboro.
Police say he had been staying at the Pike Inn Motel, not far from where the targeted businesses were located.
Anderson is charged with 13 counts of creating a false public alarm after being arrested in Delanco.
Investigators have not said why Anderson may have targeted the specific businesses involved.
Swatting, or triggering a false police response, can be extremely dangerous to the public. Not only does it take away valuable resources from actual emergencies, it sends first responders racing to the scene of a nonexistent crime or emergency, potentially putting members of the public in harms way.
Despite the bogus nature of these series of calls, investigators say each one of them was "thoroughly investigated."
If you or someone you know is having thoughts of self-harm or suicide, help is available by dialing 9-8-8. Trained counselors from the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline are standing by to talk 24/7.