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East LA Man Accused Of Making 18K Prank Calls To 911 Over 6 Months

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Authorities say they've arrested a man on suspicion of making more than 18,000 prank 911 calls over six months.

Maurice Cruz, 43, of East Los Angeles, was taken into custody at 2:35 a.m., CHP's Sgt. Denise Joslin said.

"(Cruz) started harassing the Los Angeles Communications Center 911 emergency lines via cellular phone," Joslin said. "Mr. Cruz made the calls utilizing a number of non-initialized cell phone handsets, which made tracing his calls difficult."

Authorities did not give any details on the calls or a motive. Joslin said that Cruz harassed and annoyed emergency dispatchers by calling more than 18,000 times between Aug. 27 and Friday.

Investigators with the CHP and the U.S. Secret Service tracked Cruz to a home in East Los Angeles and took him into custody.

Cruz was booked on suspicion of misusing 911 emergency lines to annoy or harass. He was released after posting $5,000 bail Friday.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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