Australian hoaxer gets nicked - all the way from Los Angeles

Reports are coming in that a 20-year-old Australian man, Jarrad Willis, has been arrested in connected with allegedly posting a hoax message and photos on t’Internet about plans to go a shooting rampage at the Grove shopping centre in Beverly Hills.

Willis is said to have claimed the shooting would happen on December 6 and - just for good measure - posted a photograph of a man holding a shotgun alongside his blog message.

Police in LA, apparently revved up by a shopping centre massacre in Omaha, Nebraska, a few days before, in which eight people died, started a global manhunt for the blog poster.

After an investigation reportedly costing £40,000, Aussie police tracked down Willis’ IP address and arrested him.

Michael Downing, LA’s police deputy chief of counter-terrorism and criminal intelligence, described Willis’ actions as a sick joke and that he hopes that he gets punished for his actions.

Police in Australia, meanwhile, are reported to have released Willis after a couple of hour’s questioning, although no charges have yet been made.

Willis might not get off, however, as newswire reports suggest that the LA police are looking for compensation for the costs of their investigation, so a civil lawsuit could be heading in an Australia-wards direction…