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Utah Family Tormented by Unwanted Knocks on Door

A Hawaii man was arrested Friday
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 27, 2019 11:44 AM CST
Updated Dec 1, 2019 6:43 AM CST
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This March 21, 2019 file photo shows a warning sign and a police officer's vehicle at Walt Gilmore's home in North Salt Lake, Utah.   (Laura Seitz/The Deseret News via AP, File)

(Newser) – A Hawaii man tormented a Utah family for over a year by sending more than 500 people to their house for unwanted services including food deliveries, repairs, tow trucks, locksmiths, plumbers, and prostitutes, according to a US prosecutor who called it "extreme cyberstalking." Loren Okamura, 44, targeted a father and his adult daughter, sending the woman threatening messages and posting her picture and address online, authorities said. One posting said the homeowner wanted drugs and prostitutes at the house in a quiet, middle-class neighborhood in a Salt Lake City suburb, reports the AP. The Gilmore family was "tormented" for a year-plus, US Attorney John Huber told reporters Tuesday.

Investigators had been focused on Okamura as the suspect since January when the Gilmores were granted a protective injunction from him in Utah. It took investigators time to gather enough evidence to charge him because of his use of encryption and apps that made him appear anonymous, Huber said. Huber declined to disclose the relationship between the victims and Okamura, but said it was not random. A sealed indictment was issued on Oct. 2, but Okamura wasn’t arrested until Friday as police struggled to find him because he doesn’t have a permanent address or job and authorities said he was "savvy" with technology used to mask his phone’s location. Utah officers flew to Honolulu and teamed with FBI agents on a 15-hour search for Okamura that ended when they arrested him at the supermarket. He has a detention hearing Wednesday.

(Read more cyberstalking stories.)

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