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Bomb threats emailed to several locations nationwide including SLO, Santa Barbara County

A wave of bomb threats were e-mailed to courthouses, universities and dozens of other locations across the country, prompting searches and evacuations Thursday.

Law enforcement agencies nationwide, including Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties, were on high alert, fielding reports of this bogus extortion attempt.

On the Central Coast, authorities say they were investigating several bomb threats sent to businesses in Templeton, rural Paso Robles, Arroyo Grande, Grover Beach and Shandon in San Luis Obispo County. Santa Barbara County dealt with two bomb threats, the City of Santa Barbara was notified of at least three and SLO County reported four suspicious emails.

The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office is in contact with the FBI regarding the threatening emails but a spokesman for the Sheriff’s Department says all cases investigated in SLO County have been proven unfounded.

{“url”:”″,”author_name”:”Grover Beach Police”,”author_url”:””,”html”:”&#lt;blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”&#gt;&#lt;p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”&#gt;This morning we received a call from a local business reporting a bomb threat by email. The threat demanded cash in &#lt;a href=””&#gt;#Bitcoin&#lt;/a&#gt;. A check of the business determined the threat to be unfounded. Similar threats have been received across the nation today. &#lt;a href=””&#gt;#bombthreat&#lt;/a&#gt; &#lt;a href=””&#gt;@CityGroverBeach&#lt;/a&#gt; &#lt;a href=””&#gt;;/a&#gt;&#lt;/p&#gt;– Grover Beach Police (@Grover_BeachPD) &#lt;a href=””&#gt;December 13, 2018&#lt;/a&#gt;&#lt;/blockquote&#gt;n&#lt;script async src=”” charset=”utf-8″&#gt;&#lt;/script&#gt;n”,”width”:550,”height”:null,”type”:”rich”,”cache_age”:”3153600000″,”provider_name”:”Twitter”,”provider_url”:””,”version”:”1.0″}

In Santa Barbara, the Santa Barbara Police Department confirmed that several locations in the city received the hoax email. Police say they investigated the threats and found they were unfounded and there is no threat to the public.

“It’s really pathetic but it’s very much a reality,” said Kelly Hoover, Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office.

Hoover says it’s unbelievable how many people out there will do anything and everything to try and scam others into giving them money.

“At this point the FBI is investigating, our bomb squad is in close contact with the FBI. Today they were monitoring all of the different incidents going on in Santa Barbara County,” said Hoover.

Threats were also sent to Alice Shaw Elementary School in Orcutt and the Ramada Inn in unincorporated Santa Barbara County near Goleta, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office.

The Ventura County Sheriff’s Department also confirmed in a tweet that they are investigating bomb threats sent to several businesses in the county of Ventura.

Authorities would not comment on which locations were specifically targeted or if any lockdowns or evacuation orders were issued.

“As always, we encourage the public to remain vigilant and to promptly report suspicious activities which could represent a threat to public safety,” the FBI said.

It’s unclear at this time if these threats — along with ones received in San Francisco, University of Washington – Seattle, Penn State University – Pennsylvania, Park Record newspaper in Utah, among others — are connected.

{“url”:”″,”author_name”:”Ventura Co. Sheriff”,”author_url”:””,”html”:”&#lt;blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”&#gt;&#lt;p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”&#gt;We have received multiple bomb threat calls at businesses throughout the county. This is a pattern seen across the country today. No credible threat has been found at this point. Our investigators are working closely with our federal partners. &#lt;a href=””&#gt;#vcsheriff&#lt;/a&#gt;&#lt;/p&#gt;– Ventura Co. Sheriff (@VENTURASHERIFF) &#lt;a href=””&#gt;December 13, 2018&#lt;/a&#gt;&#lt;/blockquote&#gt;n&#lt;script async src=”” charset=”utf-8″&#gt;&#lt;/script&#gt;n”,”width”:550,”height”:null,”type”:”rich”,”cache_age”:”3153600000″,”provider_name”:”Twitter”,”provider_url”:””,”version”:”1.0″}

In California, the Riverside Sheriff’s Office had “an influx of email threats” and is taking them seriously, although no threat has been substantiated, reported CNN.

Email threats have also been received in Canada, according to other media outlets.

A copy of the e-mail shows that whoever sent it was asking for “$20,000 dollars” in Bitcoin and it said “if you are late with the money the device will detonate.”

“What comes to my mind is our law enforcement is now occupied doing something dealing with a hoax when there’s real crime being committed,” said Jeff Harp, Security Expert and former FBI Director for Northern California.

Harp says law enforcement is on high alert during the holidays because that’s when people in western countries gather.

“Typically around Christmas, there’s always been threat briefings around the holidays. We’ve had several incidents occur, you know Pier Thirty Nine, the Christmas Day Bomber up in Portland, all these things have happened,” said Harp.

While we don’t know who sent the emails, the language indicates that the writer is from another country. For example, one says “if you are late with the payment explosive will detonate.”

The investigation is ongoing.

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