New Jersey Neighborhood Evacuated After Hoaxer Reports Bombs, Hostages in Home: Police

Police are searching for the caller, who had a disguised voice and a blocked number

By Brynn Gingras
|  Monday, Jul 22, 2013  |  Updated 6:37 AM EDT
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Police in New Jersey spent hours evacuating a neighborhood and searching for explosives inside a house after someone called 911 in an apparent hoax bomb and hostage report, authorities say. Brynn Gingras reports.

NBC 4 New York

Police in New Jersey spent hours evacuating a neighborhood and searching for explosives inside a house after someone called 911 in an apparent hoax bomb and hostage report, authorities say. Brynn Gingras reports.

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Police in New Jersey spent hours evacuating a neighborhood and searching for explosives inside a house after someone called 911 in an apparent hoax bomb and hostage report, authorities say.

Bomb squads responded to a home on Newark Avenue in Kenilworth, Union County, when someone called 911 to report there were pipe bombs inside the home and two people were being held hostage, according to police. 

The person made the call over an Internet application similar to Skype and disguised his or her voice, police said. The caller also seemed familiar with the layout of the house. 

Police evacuated neighboring homes and went inside. A man living there was unaware of any bombs in the home or of any 911 call that was made, police said. No explosives or hostages were found in the three-hour long search. 

The resident is cooperating with police in their investigation into the hoax call. Police said the man is a member of a fraternity at a college, and are looking to see whether the prank is fraternity-related. 

Investigators are attempting to trace the call and locate the caller. Neighbors have since been allowed to return home. 

"I didn't expect to come home and see this on my street," said Patty Rice. "In all my life, nothing's ever happened in Kenilworth." 

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