March 19, 2013
Three high-school-age boys in Pennsylvania confessed to making the prank call that incited a bomb scare evacuation at the Wal-Mart store on Highway 24 in Woodland Park over the weekend.
In a joint effort by the Woodland Park Police Department and the Harrison Township Police Department in western Pennsylvania, with the assistance of Verizon Wireless, the phone call was traced to an address in Natrona Heights.
Detective sergeant Tom Kinney with the Woodland Park Police Department said both law enforcement agencies are actively investigating the incident.
The minors, whose identities have to be protected, admitted to making the bomb threat call when police tracked them down, but there is no information on their motives, detective Joseph Signorella with the Harrison Township Police Department said.
“This is not normal behavior for anyone, even if it was a joke,” Signorella said. “Any situation has to be considered for its severity, but with people nowadays, you just never know what could happen.”
Signorella told The Gazette the Allegheny County district attorney is considering whether to file misdemeanor charges and any disciplinary measures against the prank callers will be up to the Highlands School District and their parents.
Although the bomb threat targeted a business out of state, Kinney said the DA’s office in Woodland Park will not extradite anyone on misdemeanor charges.
Friday night the Walmart was evacuated from 10:30 p.m. to about 2 a.m. while a bomb squad from Fort Carson searched the building for any suspicious devices, coming up empty.
In a string of bomb threats that the Colorado Springs and Woodland Park police departments are calling “unrelated incidents,” the Wal-Mart on Platte Avenue and Chelton Road in Colorado Springs was also evacuated Friday evening, with more bomb threats targeted at Wal-Marts in Commerce City; Great Bend and Salina, Kan.; and Oklahoma on Saturday afternoon.
Kinney said there is no evidence to indicate the bomb threats were connected in any way.