Police used satellite tracking technology to zero in on a pint-sized prankster who had been deluging them with fake 911 calls.
It was a third-grader whose mom gave her a prepaid mobile phone to use in emergencies.
The 8-year-old and a few of her friends on the school bus made more than 135 bogus 911 calls to the Warren County emergency center and state police over the last ten days in South Glens Falls, 45 miles north of Albany, officials said.
One particular call included a report of a traffic accident with injuries, reported the Times-Union newspaper of Albany, N.Y.
“For that car accident we sent out police, fire, ambulance apparatus. We thought it was a real accident. We’re lucky we weren't delayed going to where someone was actually hurt,” Warren County Sheriff Larry Cleveland told the Times-Union.
To catch her, sheriff's deputies and dispatchers used equipment that traces mobile phone calls using satellite technology.
Cleveland said the persistent calls prompted officers to use technology to track down the person responsible. All mobile phones sold since 2005 are required to have internal GPS receivers, so police were able to trace the phone to a house in South Glens Falls.
Authorities caught the third-grader in the act on Wednesday, when deputies knocked on the door of the family’s home, sending the girl running to hide in the bathroom, the Times-Union reported.
“She was one scared little dude,” Cleveland told the newspaper.
The sheriff said it’s unclear if the 8-year-old would be prosecuted in family court.