AP NEWS

Bomb threats evacuate buildings in Triangle, nationwide

December 14, 2018
Workers stand in City Plaza after evacuating the Bank of America building in downtown Raleigh because of a bomb threat on Dec. 13, 2018. (Photo courtesy of Justin Giles)

Bomb threats were sent to media organizations, government buildings and other locations nationwide Thursday afternoon, including an office building in downtown Raleigh, three sites in Cary and one in Chapel Hill.

Some offices in the Bank of America building on Fayetteville Street’s City Plaza in Raleigh was evacuated shortly before 1:30 p.m. Workers were given the all clear to head back inside after about 90 minutes.

Sara Glines, publisher of The News and Observer, which has offices in the Bank of America building, said the bomb threat came to the newspaper through a group email address.

“The email did not appear to be legitimate, but it is our practice to evacuate our staff when there is a threat of any kind,” Glines said in a statement. “The threat did not target the News & Observer specifically, except by the general email domain. We contacted Raleigh police immediately, evacuated our offices and had the police department sweep our offices. Nothing was found. We are grateful for the Raleigh Police Department’s quick response.

“Since that time, we have become aware that this was a national spam email that was sent to many businesses across the country,” she added.

WRAL News obtained a copy of that email, which has also been posted on social media. In the message, the writer indicates an explosive device was carried into each business. The email also purports to withdraw that threat for $20,000, calling it “the price for your safety.”

Cary officials said three bomb threats were emailed to locations across the town – 1151 Kildaire Farm Road, 8420 Chapel Hill Road and 2401 Weston Parkway. All three locations were later cleared.

Chapel Hill police said at least one location in town also received a threat.

Police in New York City said none of the reports have been found to be credible, according to NBC News.

Moore County Sheriff Ronnie Fields said his office had received numerous complaints of bomb threats across the county, including some governmental offices. The emailed threats, which demanded bitcoin payments, were generated outside the U.S. and weren’t credible threats, Fields said.

Geoff Beckwith runs Stealth Vigilance K9, a private company specializing in bomb sniffing dogs. While he didn’t work any of the locations that received bomb threats Thursday, he said any such threat should be taken seriously.

“There may be a lot of occurrences where it’s not a credible threat, there are times where it is and incidents do occur and people get hurt,” he said.

Beckwith works with several local venues, including the PNC Arena and Duke Football games, and said working in conjunction with law enforcement agencies, their job is to make sure the public is protected.

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