Multiple bomb threats considered hoaxes

Friday, August 17, 2007

Cape Girardeau police responded to multiple bomb threats Friday morning, all of them turning out to be hoaxes.

The Cape Girardeau police station headquarters, Cape Girardeau Central High School, Central Middle School, Cape Girardeau Montessori School, the post office and the Chateau Girardeau Reitrement Home all received threatening phone calls indicating there was an explosive device planted nearby.

"There is a bomb outside your building," the caller said each time, according to police spokesman Sgt. Barry Hovis.

The bomb squad was activated and responded to the middle school, after the caller informed police there was a bomb concealed in an orange traffic cone in the parking lot.

They found what appeared to be a bomb, but it turned out to be what is known as a "hoax device," something that looks like a bomb but contains no actual explosives, Hovis said.

Every facility that received a bomb threat has been thoroughly checked, and no explosives were found, he said.

Because the caller told police the bombs were outside the buildings, all of the precautionary measures were taken, but no one was evacuated.

"We kept everyone inside and out of harm's way," said Hovis.

Police are still investigating the identity of the caller. They have tracked down each threat on tape and detectives are listening to them repeatedly and trying to piece together a description of the caller's voice, Hovis said.

It appears to be the same caller that made each threat.

By the number of services the suspect attempted to disrupt, he may be prosecuted for making terroristic threats, Hovis said.

bdicosmo@semissourian.com

335-6621 ext. 245

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