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Houston Jewelry Heist: Phony 911 Call Distracted Police

First Posted: 12/23/12 EST Updated: 12/23/12 EST

The week after the Newtown, Conn. massacre, jewelry thieves may have taken advantage of the nation's fears of a similar event, police in Texas say.

Tuesday afternoon, Houston dispatchers received a 911 call stating that a man with a gun was in a local theater, KPRC reports. Officers rushed to the scene but found no signs of the alleged man or the caller.

While police were occupied with the theater, however, four or five armed men with covered faces burst into a Jared's jewelry store just two blocks away. Officers say one suspect forced customers onto the floor while the others shattered display cases to steal the goods inside.

They made off with nearly 1 million dollars worth of jewelry.

Even if it's not part of a plan to stage a jewelry heist, misusing the 911 system is still a criminal offense.

In September, one Florida teenager was arrested after he allegedly dialed 911 twice to inform dispatchers that his dreams had become reality.

The month before, another Florida citizen was charged with seven counts of misusing the 911 system after he allegedly repeatedly called 911 to request that female officers come to his house to have sex with him.