Belfast Telegraph

Friday 24 October 2014

Rihanna latest swatting victim?


Rihanna has reportedly become the latest celebrity to fall victim to “celebrity swatting” as police investigate a suspicious call to 911 about two armed men inside her Los Angeles home.

The 25-year-old singer’s Los Angeles property was raided by law enforcement sources on Thursday after police received a call claiming two armed men were inside her home, TMZ reports.

Local police were on the scene of the $12 million Pacific Palisades residence at press time and are said to believe the call was a prank.

It would mark the latest in a string of such incidents targeting celebrities in the city.

The phenomenon has become known as swatting, so named for bogus reports intended to lead SWAT teams and large numbers of police to the homes of high-profile individuals.

Earlier this week P. Diddy’s home in the San Fernando Valley was subject to a similar hoax.

Over a dozen police vehicles and two helicopters rushed to the hip-hop mogul’s home before they realised what had happened.

Kim Kardashian, Tom Cruise, Britney Spears and Beyoncé Knowles have also fallen victim to such pranks.  

Police are taking the incidents seriously and arrested a 12-year-old boy in December for prank calling 911 with similar reports targeting the homes of Ashton Kutcher and Justin Bieber.

The latest incident could mark the third major security breach for Rihanna in recent months.

It follows less than six weeks after her Los Angeles home was subject to a break-in.

Neighbours alerted the police after they saw someone snooping around the star's house on February 22, according to TMZ. A man was arrested on site.

In December a fan was apparently caught by her security team trying to enter her Barbados holiday villa, according to British newspaper The Sun.

Rihanna had just purchased her California abode at the time.

The 11,000-square-foot, home sits on an expansive 33,541-square-foot plot and is surrounded by a high fence, with mature Oak and Sycamore trees meat to add privacy for the singer.

Rihanna has yet to comment on the alleged swatting prank.

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