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Bomb threat in West Point part of national hoax

By DUSTIN DUNCAN

WEST POINT – An emailed bomb threat was sent to a West Point business Thursday, according to the West Point Police Department.

Captain Robert Fawley said a local business in the 1200 block of OG Skinner Drive received an email indicating there were possible explosive devices in the building. Fawley did not disclose the name of the business, however a sign on the door of CharterBank said the building was closed, stating “do not enter the building.” The sign did not give more information, but told employees to contact their supervisor.

Fawley said the West Point Police Department was confident there was no device in the building after a bomb dog searched the facility and found nothing.

West Point wasn’t the only city in the United States to receive similar threats, as similar emails were sent out to hundreds of schools, businesses and government buildings across the country, according to the Associated Press.

“This was an isolated incident in West Point,” Fawley said. “However, the information that we have received from our state and federal partners is that this incident was national.”

Two businesses in Troup County received similar emails, causing the Troup County Sheriff’s Office to respond. Troup County Sgt. Stewart Smith said those businesses were in the 100 block of Corporate Block East and the 100 block of South Davis Road. He did not confirm the names of the businesses.

Based on the information that two businesses received the same email, Smith said the sheriff’s office does not believe the threat was credible.

“It is going around nationwide, so we are confident it is a hoax,” Stewart said.

Some of the emails had the subject line “Thank Twice,” and were sent from a spoofed email address. The email also requested $20,000 in Bitcoin currency in order for the sender to deactivate the alleged explosive.

Fawley said the next steps for the West Point Police Department will be to begin working to backtrack the information to the original source. He said the department is also working with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Homeland Security and the FBI.

“We just gather and share information,” he said.

In the Greater Valley Area, Chambers County Sheriff Sid Lockhart said he didn’t hear of anything in the county jurisdiction, and LaFayette Police Chief George Rampey said he had no reports in his city. Valley and Lanett Police Departments could not be reached for comment Wednesday night. If anyone has any information related to the threat, they are encouraged to call the West Point Police Department at (706) 645-3525.