Responding deputies from the Johnson County (Kan.) Sheriff's Office actively investigated a 911 accident call for two hours that turned out to be a prank call, according to the agency.
The call came in at 11:23 p.m. Tuesday from an insurance company reporting an injured person who was ejected from a vehicle during a rollover accident. The insurance agency connected the caller directly into the Olathe dispatch center. The male caller said his vehicle had been struck by another vehicle near Westwood. He told the dispatcher the vehicle had rolled and ejected his wife who was injured.
The caller could not provide an exact location, but units were sent to the general area. The sheriff's office attempted to ping the phone while checking its databases for further information. The caller was vague in his answers, could not verify his phone number, and said there was nothing around him to describe to help police find his location.
The event remained active for two hours and police cars from at least six agencies sent units to comb the area for any sign of an accident. Two sheriff's dispatchers spent more than an hour and a half on the phone attempting to gain any helpful information to locate the accident while the on-duty dispatch sergeant traced the original phone number to Skype. Skype personnel determined the phone number was masked behind a third party 1-800 number.
The company also informed the sheriff's office that this is the typical format of a type of prank phone call they've seen a lot of lately. The caller logs into Skype, dials a third party 1-800 number, and through that number, dials a third party host who contacts the police via 911. The caller does this as opposed to someone who has just been in an accident and could have easily (and more quickly) dialed 911, according to the agency.