PALOS PARK, IL — A Burbank man is accused of making fale emergency calls to dozens of suburban fire and police departments. Michael J. O’Conner, 26, was charged with six felony counts of disorderly conduct after a months long investigation.

Palos Park police opened the lengthy investigation after the Palos Fire Protection District reported receiving numerous false fire tones March 18. Fire tones are sequences of tones used to trigger emergency alerts to fire companies. Each type of emergency as well as fire house has its own specific sequence of tones.

The fire tones activated at the Palos Fire Protection District indicated that an emergency call had been placed, but when Palos contacted Orland Fire Central Dispatch, there were no calls for service, police said. The Orland Fire Protection District checked its system and it was functioning properly.

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During the investigation, police identified a vehicle that was in the area of the Palos fire stations when the swat calls were made. The fire protection district was put on alert for any or all suspicious vehicles or persons near their fire houses.

The next evening, March 19, police responded to Palos Fire Protection District Station #1 for a false fire tone. When officers arrived on the scene, a man, later identified as O’Conner, had been confronted at the scene by firefighters, police said.

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O’Conner was taken into custody. While searching his vehicle, officers said they found portable radio equipment which was taken as evidence. Police said O’Conner voluntarily came to the station for an interview, where his mobile phone was seized.

In cooperation with the Riverside and LaGrange Park police departments, and several other suburban law enforcement agencies, Palos Park police said investigators found video evidence of the incidents on O’Conner’s seized phone.

O’Conner turned himself in to police July 1, police said. The Cook County State’s Attorney approved six felony counts of disorderly conduct for the Palos prank calls.

O’Conner has pending cases in other communities, and has notices to appear at both the Bridgeview and Maywood courthouses.

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