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Officials take felony bomb threats seriously
Police in Glynn County do not take bomb threats lightly, which is all the more reason why they come down hard on culprits when caught.

Police responded to two threats last week -- one at a major shopping center and the other at a middle school. Both turned out to be a hoax.

The fact they proved to be false alarms will not slow down future responses of police or other emergency services, said Glynn County Police Chief Matt Doering.

Doering said police treat each bomb threat as if they were real.

A threat made at Glynn Place Mall on Feb. 1 compelled mall administrators to evacuate stores and corridors.

An unidentified caller told a clerk at one of the stores in the mall that a bomb was in the building.

The threat had to be given credence due to an incident at the mall two years ago when two juveniles detonated a homemade chemical bomb in April 2011 at Belk.

No one was injured, but the explosion caused $1,000 in damages.

Police caught the two responsible for the chemical bomb.

In many cases, finding the person who made the threat can be difficult, Doering said.

"The one at the mall (Feb. 1), we know where the phone call came from. We just don't know who made it yet," Doering said.

When the person is identified, Doering said he will be prosecuted.

Wednesday, just five days after the mall was evacuated, a bomb threat was called into Needwood Middle School shortly before the end of the school day.

Principal Jim Pulos evacuated the building, which was later cleared by a bomb squad from Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay.

Rod Ellis, chief of the Glynn County Schools Police Department, said making a bomb threat is a felony.

Police are mum about how they go after and catch the culprits. All Ellis will say is that there are more ways to do it than most people realize.

"Technology is a big help in tracking them down," Ellis said. "It is pretty foolish to call in a bomb threat."

Anyone who is charged with intentionally transmitting a false public alarm or making terrorist threats could face from one to five years in prison, if convicted.

* Reporter Michael Hall writes about public safety, environment and other local topics. Contact him by email at mhall@thebrunswicknews.com, on Facebook or at 265-8320, ext. 320.



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