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Mysterious 911 call has law enforcement calling all units

A search of the car targeted by an anonymous 9-1-1 weapons call turned up nothing but more questions about the caller. The stop happened two and a half miles north of Detroit Lakes on Highway 59 Thursday morning.

A tense scene for area police Thursday morning has likely turned out to be not much more than a mysterious phone call, according to Becker County Sheriff Tim Gordon.

Gordon says police received a 9-1-1 call at about 7:40 a.m. from the Waubun area.

"The caller stated that there were two individuals waving a gun around, and that they were possibly going to be committing a robbery. We got word they were headed south from Waubun on Highway 59 towards Detroit Lakes."

The caller gave the description of the vehicle, but, Gordon says, before dispatch could get the caller's name or address, they hung up.

Several police units from Becker County, Detroit Lakes, and the Minnesota State Patrol responded to the high risk call, locating the vehicle about two and a half miles north of Detroit Lakes on Highway 59.

Gordon says they pulled the men over without incident and detained them, but were unable to find any weapons in the car.

"Was there a gun that they threw in the ditch? Doesn't appear to be, but the officers had to respond the way they did because it was a firearms call, and we didn't know if we were dealing with a robbery, an abduction, or just a fictitious call."

According to Gordon, one of the twin cities area men being questioned were cited for driving after suspension, but they denied having anything to do with any weapons or robbery.

"But due to the nature of the call, not knowing if there was as crime that had occurred in Mahnomen County, we detained the individuals. They weren't arrested, just detained."

Gordon says authorities do have the individuals on video surveillance in a Mahnomen County location acting normal, and their stories have been verified.

"So right now what we have is an unsubstantiated call; we don't know if somebody was trying to retaliate against these two individuals by utilizing us to hassle them, so right now the investigation is still ongoing, focusing on finding out who made that phone call and why they made it," said Gordon.

Gordon says the caller was male, and he used a pre-paid phone, which could not be tracked.

"Everything is speculation as to why the person called."

If the phone call was malicious and fictitious, Gordon says that would be the real crime.

The sheriff says it's possible they could seek a special administrative search warrant to get records from the phone companies, but suspects the disposable phone has already been thrown away if it was a malicious call.

"So, if anybody in the public knows who made that 9-1-1 call from the Waubun area Thursday morning, we ask they give us or Mahnomen authorities a call."