Multiple bomb threats reported in WBTV area, across country

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Multiple bomb threats were reported in Charlotte and surrounding areas - as well as across the country - Thursday afternoon.

The threats began coming in to businesses in the WBTV area via email around 1 p.m. The emails stated that a “mercenary” hid a bomb in the building that would not “damage the supporting building structure" but would create “many victims” if detonated.

The emails asked for $20,000 to be paid in Bitcoin.

Threats like this were reported at businesses in Charlotte and across the country on Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018.
Threats like this were reported at businesses in Charlotte and across the country on Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018.

In the WBTV viewing area, threats were made at State Farm Road, NC Highway 105, and Furman Road in Boone, Julian Road in Salisbury, Woodcrest Dr in Lincolnton, Public Works Drive in York, SC, and two in Fort Mill, SC - Springhill Farm Rd and Market St.

Officials in Iredell County, NC, Rock Hill, SC, and Lancaster County, SC, also confirmed they received threats in their areas but did not release further details.

There were also 16 threats made in Charlotte alone:

  • West Martin Luther King Boulevard
  • North Pine Street
  • Baxter Street
  • East 5th Street
  • South Tryon Street
  • Rainbow Circle
  • Cullman Avenue
  • Taggart Creek Road
  • Continental Boulevard
  • Ballantyne Commons Parkway
  • North College Street
  • Coronation Boulevard
  • Doggett Street
  • Culp Road
  • Glen Lake Road
  • South Ridge Road

The threats led to several street closures, including the intersection of Pine Street and 5th Street. A police presence could also be seen in the 200 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department issued a statement saying they were investigating “unsubstantiated bomb threats.” Other police departments in the WBTV viewing area tweeted about their investigations as well.

No injuries were reported.

Dozens of people were forced to evacuate the Children and Family Services Center in uptown Charlotte Thursday. An employee at an agency located within the center received an email with a bomb threat, according to Shelley White, the executive director of the center.

“It looked like it was bogus, but you never know so you have to do your best to evacuate and make sure everybody’s safe,” said White.

Caitlin Donley was one of the people forced to evacuate the building. She said she wasn’t surprised to hear that a threat had been made.

“Unfortunately it is the world we are in today and I’m glad the police and building was very responsive and people are safe," said Donley. “So far nothing has been confirmed in terms of tragedies so I thinl we’re really lucky.”

As threats were being reported in NC and SC, they were also coming in from across the country.

Several television stations were affected as were newspapers such as The Chicago Tribune and the Raleigh News and Observer.

The FBI said in a statement that they were aware of the threats.

“We are aware of the recent bomb threats made in cities around the country, and we remain in touch with our law enforcement partners to provide assistance,” the FBI said. “As always, we encourage the public to remain vigilant and to promptly report suspicious activities which could represent a threat to public safety.”

Police departments large and small reported the threats on social media throughout the day.

“At this time, it appears that these threats are meant to cause disruption and/or obtain money,” the New York Police Department said. “We’ll respond to each call regarding these emails to conduct a search but we wanted to share this information so the credibility of these threats can be assessed as likely NOT CREDIBLE.”

Oklahoma City Police Department tweeted they were working a number of bomb threats in the area similar to those around the country.

As of 4:30 p.m., there was no official word on who may have sent the threats or how many in total were sent.

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