Crime

At least 10 Fresno locations targeted in nationwide bomb threats, officials say

Ten Fresno-area locations were targeted in what the Federal Bureau of Investigation reports is a nationwide series of bomb threats Thursday.

The threats appear to be a hoax, authorities say.

Most of the emails had the subject line: “Think Twice.” The sender claimed to have had an associate plant a small bomb in the recipient’s building and that the only way to stop him from setting it off was by making an online payment of $20,000 in Bitcoin, according to The Sacramento Bee.

Fresno police Lt. Mark Hudson confirmed that such threats were received in Fresno and that police were told that emails containing the threats were sent from either Russia or the Netherlands.

The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office also responded to similar emails.

The Fresno office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, on North Palm Avenue was targeted, along with a tractor business in the 2700 block of West Whitesbrige Avenue; a raisin growers group in the 2400 block of Capitol Street; a business in the 3600 block of West Jennifer Avenue; and a residence in the 10000 block of North Medinah Circle, according to Hudson.

Sheriff’s spokesman Tony Botti said threats were reported at a law office in the 200 block of West Shaw Avenue; a cold storage facility in the 13000 block of South Bethel Avenue; Sunnyside Countrywide Club in southeast Fresno; a propane company in the 2600 block of South Willow Avenue; and at Raisin City School in the 6400 block of West Bowles Avenue.

In Visalia, police reported officers were dispatched shortly before 11 a.m. Thursday to a bomb threat at the administration building for Kaweah Delta Medical Center, near Mineral King Avenue and West Street in Visalia. The premises were checked and deemed safe.

“This threat is likely related to a series of threats, deemed unfounded by the FBI, made to various businesses and public organizations across the nation,” Visalia police said. Still, the department said, all threats should be reported to law enforcement.

Reporter Carmen George contributed to this story.
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