Threats made at MN schools could be connected to similar threats nationwide

Author:
Updated:
Original:

At least three schools in Minnesota were on alert Monday after receiving threatening messages – and now officials are looking into whether they are connected to similar threats made across the United States.

Ben Franklin Elementary School in Rochester, Forest Lake Elementary in Forest Lake and Brooklyn Center Secondary School in Brooklyn Center were among the schools to receive threats around noon Monday.

Rochester Public Schools said an automated recording made a bomb threat on the school's main office phone around 11:58 a.m., which prompted the school to evacuate while police investigated. It was later given the all-clear.

At around 12:15 p.m. Monday, an anonymous caller phoned in a threat to Forest Lake Elementary, according to police. The school was searched and deemed safe by about 2 p.m.

The Sun Post reports the Brooklyn Center Secondary School was temporarily evacuated after receiving a threat around 12:30 p.m.

https://twitter.com/RichmondTweh/status/734810777148743681

Principal Carly Jarva told the paper similar threats were made across the country.

Those threats – many of them automated calls – were made at elementary, middle and high schools in at least 17 other states, including Wisconsin and Iowa, according to USA Today. Threats were also made across Britain, NBC News says.

Rochester Police Capt. John Sherwin told KTTC he doesn't know if all the calls were identical, but he believes they may be connected.

None of the threats were found to be credible, NBC reports, and law enforcement officials continue to investigate, ABC 6 says.

A swatting hoax?

Ken Trump, a school security expert, told USA Today the string of hoaxes seemed a lot like swatting – a crime that's grown in popularity in recent years where a caller makes a hoax threat or reports a fake emergency to draw a large response from police.

The Associated Press also linked Monday's threats to the latest in school swatting. However, police haven't confirmed them as swatting incidents.

There was a similar string of hoax threats at schools in California and New York last December, NBC News reports. But officials told the publication that the number of schools affected Monday seemed to be unusually high.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety says bomb threats are "one of the most common hazards schools face," and they present an "ongoing challenge for schools."

https://www.facebook.com/lakesareapolice/posts/10154190956083550

Next Up

police tape, crime scene

Man and woman, aged 55 and 62, found dead in their home

The St. Louis County Sheriff's Office is investigating.

Gov. Tim Walz

Walz: COVID-19 guidance for Christmas likely to be similar to Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving featured a ban on social gatherings with non-household members.

CCI 3

Mall of America is offering a virtual Santa experience this year

People can virtually tour Santa's Candy Cane Institute.

PD Shimmers 4

Annual guide to finding holiday lights displays in MN is released

More than 80 holiday displays are on this year's list.

duluth police department

Duluth police officer charged in September shooting

The officer, who is a five-year veteran, is charged with two felonies.

Screen Shot 2020-11-30 at 1.31.42 PM

Enbridge gets final approval to start construction on Line 3 replacement

The project has attracted criticism from environmental and tribal groups.

Kirk Cousins

Is it a 4-team race for the final NFC playoff spot?

The key for Minnesota likely requires winning on the road against two top NFC teams.

coronavirus

Nov. 30 COVID-19 update: Hospitalizations reach new high mark

There are fewer than 100 staffed ICU beds available in Minnesota.

Related

Screen Shot 2019-09-30 at 7.27.43 AM

Student made possible threats to Hopkins High School

The school says police addressed the matter with the student.

Carmike Cinemas target of nationwide bomb threats, including Oakdale

Oakdale police and firefighters have cleared the Carmike Cinemas Oakdale 20 after the Carmike corporate office received a general threat. An Oakdale Community Affairs Officer tells the Woodbury Patch, "There was no specific location or time frame given. The police department did not receive credible information that the threat was specific to Oakdale."