Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Over-the-top SWAT raid on lady's home due to unprotected Wi-Fi hacking

Over-the-top SWAT raid on lady’s home due to unprotected Wi-Fi hacking

by Leon Watso,
June 29th 2012

Small town police mount over-the-top SWAT raid on unsuspecting woman’s home… after teenage neighbour made threats using her unprotected WiFi

Armed to the teeth, they crashed into the house like their life depended on it.

And as far as they were concerned it did – because officers in Evansville, Indiana, believed their police station was in serious danger.

But, after flinging in two stun grenades and piling into the front room, what they found was an innocent – albeit bewildered – teenage girl.

She was watching television. So much for the hot lead.

Officers in Evansville, Indiana, acted on some Topix postings threatening violence against local police

Even more embarrassingly for police though, they had been so eager to show off their decisive action they invited television cameras and the local press.

The officers were acting on postings left on online discussion forum Topix threatening violence against local police.

So they sent in the SWAT team to execute a search warrant. The only problem was the threats were probably just a prank made by someone in the same street.

Officers were filmed smashing the screen door and a window, tossing a flashbang stun grenade into the house and then a second for good measure.

Stephanie Milan, 18, was inside. She managed to stay calm because she knew her family hadn’t done anything wrong but she was still stunned.

Moments later police realised they had made a terrible mistake and Miss Milan and her grandmother Louise were released without charge.

It turned out the home had an open WiFi router, and the threats had been made by someone outside the house

Stephanie’s grandfather Ira, who owns the property, told the Evansville Courier & Press: ‘The front door was open. It’s not like anyone was in there hiding.

‘To bring a whole SWAT team seems a little excessive.’

It turned out the home had an open WiFi router, and the threats had been made by someone outside the house.

After a little bit more digging, the force realised that the threats had come from a house on the same street.

This time, apparently recognising they had gone a little over-the-top on the first raid, the police department didn’t send in the SWAT team.

Instead, they just sent officers up to the door.

Police chief Billy Bolin told the Evansville Courier & Press: ‘We did surveillance on the house, we knew that there were little kids there, so we decided we weren’t going to use the SWAT team.

‘We did have one officer with a ram to hit the door in case they refused to open the door. That didn’t happen, so we didn’t need to use it.’

Their target appears to be a teenager who owns a smartphone but has denied using it to make the threats.

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