IOW Courthouse Complex receives third bomb threat

Published 9:26 am Tuesday, August 17, 2010

ISLE OF WIGHT—For the third time in 15 days, the Isle of Wight Courthouse Complex had to be evacuated due to a bomb threat on Thursday.
For the third time, there was no bomb.
The Isle of Wight Sheriff’s Department has no suspects and has not received any tips or leads on the bomb threats, said Lt. Col. Riddle Hines.
The general district court office received the telephone call for the first bomb threat on July 28, and juvenile court received the second bomb threat call two days later. Thursday’s bomb threat call also was made to juvenile court.
“Juvenile court wasn’t in session,” Hines said.
It’s not known if the same person made each call.
“That’s what we’re looking into right now,” Hines said.
Don Robertson, public information officer for the county, noted the first two bomb threats were called in shortly after 8 a.m. before the courthouse complex opened for the day. Thursday’s call came in at 10:15 a.m.
“So it was a matter of not just keeping people out of their offices,” Robertson said. “We had to evacuate everyone and get them to a secure location.”
Employees and visitors to the courthouse went to Isle of Wight Academy and a nearby restaurant.
“It wasn’t just employees,” he said. “A lot of folks had come here for traffic court and appointments and meetings.”
The courthouse has caller identification on its phones, but it’s believed the calls were transferred, which means the caller’s number would no longer be available, Robertson said.
Virginia State Police searched the complex on Thursday. Everyone returned to the buildings after 90 minutes, he said.
“It’s just unfortunate,” Robertson said. “It’s something that is creating a little bit of a nuisance for us, and it disrupts the workflow.”