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Fake Bomb Threat Strains Law Enforcement Resources

Park City Outlets

On Sunday, a 21-year-old Coalville woman working at Rue 21 texted her father, saying a bomb threat was at her workplace.

The woman sent a text to her father on Sunday around 5 pm saying, "Call 911, a bomb threat at my job." Summit County Sheriff's Lieutenant Andrew Wright said deputies responded immediately to the Park City Outlet stores.

"Of course, we sent a lot of resources to that area. We had the arts fest going on, and so we had other outside agencies that have bomb assets, specifically a bomb canine, that was able to quickly respond by that time. Well, before we had to consider evacuating the outlet center, we determined, through the investigation, basically this employee, the 21-year-old female came clean and said that she--she admitted that she told her dad to call on this bomb threat because she no longer wanted to be at work.

There were no evacuations. The Sheriff's office referred the case to the County Attorney's office for review.

"It's insane to me that someone would be so careless as to do something like that. We respond to all calls for service. We do so professionally. We do so, you know, we apply the resources that we need based off of that call for service. Something like this is a very, very big deal. We don't take it lightly. And, and that's why I say, we have requested the county attorney's office to basically apply the laws that are written and hold this person accountable for the basically the scare and the amount of resources they took away from other people who needs them."

Lieutenant Wright said under a legitimate bomb threat scenario, they would call an advanced bomb squad team and begin to evacuate the shopping center. He said a false report of a bomb threat could justify a felony charge against the woman.

"We don't go rushing into an area that is obviously a legitimate threat. We have to make sure that we're safe that we, you know, get close enough that we can start looking at the scenario and making a plan on making sure that everyone is safe. And so, once our deputies were there and basically had a perimeter on the building, our dispatch center was able to call in and ask that assistant manager to come out, and our deputies began talking to her, asking her what was going on, and that's when they realized—she told them. She admitted to them; this is fake. I did it because I didn't want to be at work. And so, we were able to determine that it was in fact not a real bomb threat, and our deputies were able to make sure and confirm that the building was safe, that there was no active threat."

Sheriff Justin Martinez said planting a bomb is a terrorist act, and the false reporting of a bomb threat is a crime. They do not know the motive other than

KPCW reporter Carolyn Murray covers Summit and Wasatch County School Districts. She also reports on wildlife and environmental stories, along with breaking news. Carolyn has been in town since the mid ‘80s and raised two daughters in Park City.