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Prank call to Mitchell Police was placed around the country, caller untraceable

Authorities say the call was placed from an application and is not traceable

Mitchell Police #3 2021.jpg
The Mitchell Police Division is a part of the Mitchell Department of Public Safety. (Hunter Dunteman / Republic)

Police in Mitchell say a prank call reporting an armed subject in northern Mitchell on Wednesday evening was placed to multiple agencies around the country and did not originate locally.

Shortly after 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, officers with the Mitchell Police Division and deputies with the Davison County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to the 1400 block of Pebble Beach Road to a report of a possible armed subject.

Officials set up a perimeter and began their investigation, only to find no active threat in the area, noting in a Wednesday press release it "appear[ed] it was a prank call."

An update from the Mitchell Police Division released Thursday afternoon said further investigation reveals similar phone calls from the same number were received by mutliple other agencies across the country.

Thursday's press release does not specify which agencies nor how many agencies received similar reports.

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"Obviously the first concern is the safety of the individuals, but these types of prank calls tie up essential services and resources for the community," said Mike Koster, chief of the Mitchell Police Division. "It’s one of those situations we hope we don't have to deal with again, but we’re absolutely grateful it turned out the way it did."

Koster also pointed out false reports and prank calls have not typically been an issue during his career.

Under South Dakota law, filing a false report to law enforcement is a Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in prison, a $2,000 fine or both.

A South Dakota native, Hunter joined Forum Communications Company as a reporter for the Mitchell (S.D.) Republic in June 2021 and now works as a digital reporter for Forum News Service, focusing on local news in Sioux Falls. He also writes regional news spanning across the Dakotas, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
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