CRIME

Utah Among Many States To Get Fake Email Bomb Threats

Dec 13, 2018, 6:56 PM | Updated: 9:29 pm

SOUTH SALT LAKE – Dozens of emailed bomb threats that made the rounds in Utah businesses and government buildings appeared to be the same threats that were circulated around the rest of the United States.

Bruce Hagen started the workday Thursday much like any other, at least until around 11:30 a.m., when he got an unusual email.

“You just knew it was a hoax, but you felt like you should at least alert everybody to it, and give them a choice,” Hagen said.

Hagen, who works as president of Western Automatic Sprinkler, said the email claimed that a bomb had been placed in the building by a mercenary.

Western Automatic Sprinkler in South Salt Lake, one of many businesses across the US that got emailed bomb threats.

“They said they had people across the street, watching to see if police came or anybody left the building,” Hagen explained. “If you didn’t pay him $20,000 by the end of the day, they would detonate the bomb.”

Rather than send the payment, via bitcoin, as the email instructs, Hagen alerted his co-workers and called police.

“There were some minor disruptions,” Hagen said. “We had some (people) leave and take an early lunch until we got the police over here to look at it.”

The email Hagen received was similar to one police investigated in Park City around the same time. The email showed up at a business that happened to be near the public school, and some government buildings, according to Captain Phil Kirk with the Park City Police Department.

“They did go into a lock-out mode where they didn’t allow anybody in or out of the schools for a period of time until we could secure the buildings,” said Captain Kirk.

A testing center at Dixie State University in St. George was also evacuated, while officers and K-9 units investigated another threat there.

Hagen said while he never expected that the threat was credible, he felt it was important to call police.

“It wasn’t something we took real serious,” he said. “You still kind of had to give it some due diligence and pay attention to it, but (we) were never really worried.”

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Utah Among Many States To Get Fake Email Bomb Threats