A thief called in a report of a school shooting so she could shoplift at a Wal Mart store in peace, police say.
Autumn Trepish called 911 around 10am on Tuesday morning, claiming a gunman dressed in black was in the hallway of Lincoln High School in Wisconsin Rapids, Wi., it is claimed.
She allegedly told the dispatcher she was hiding from the shooter in a bathroom, prompting eight police officers and nine sheriffs to be scrambled to the school at top speed.
However, when the team of law enforcement turned up they discovered the entire place closed because of an ice storm.
They subsequently discovered the call had been made by Trepish, it was said, and that she had been shoplifting at a Wal Mart store at the time.
The scare saw officers sweep the empty school for signs of a suspect.
They were forced to waste further resources the next day on stationing staff at the school to allay fears and prevent any copycat attempts.
Lt. Joel Flewellen told Raycom: ‘We had approximately 15 to 20 officers arrive, and it makes it unsafe for the public a lot of times.
‘It was icy yesterday and the response – we have to get there in a quick way, so we’re going lights and siren.
And school Superintendent Craig Broeren said he feared the worst may have been about to happen.
He explained: ‘It certainly did heighten fears, but it’s been on my mind, on other school superintendents’ minds and school employees for the last several years as a result of the trends we’re seeing in society.’
Trepish was held on a $10,000 bond on suspicion of filing a false report and shoplifting.
Scores of ‘joke’ threats and false alarms have sparked school lockdowns in the wake of last week’s shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fl., that killed 17.