Hoax threats prompt evacuations at Jewish community centers in Long Beach and other cities
Bogus bomb-threat calls prompted evacuations of Jewish community centers in Long Beach, La Jolla and other cities across the U.S. on Tuesday.
Long Beach police were dispatched to a bomb-threat call in the 3800 block of East Willow Street at about 9:15 a.m. Tuesday, police said, and the staff at the Alpert Jewish Community Center implemented their action plan and self-evacuated.
No devices were found during a search of the facility, police said.
A similar bomb threat caused evacuation of a Jewish community center in La Jolla.
The Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center on Executive Drive received the threat by phone shortly before 9 a.m., executive director Michael Cohen said.
Officers searched each building of the facility but found nothing suspicious, Police Officer Josh Hodge said.
Cohen said staff immediately followed their security protocols by evacuating employees and pre-schoolers at the center.
The center issued an alert to parents of children who were at the center, saying they are safe but could be picked up at La Jolla Country Day School on Genesee Avenue, if the parent had valid identification. All programs at the center were suspended temporarily, the alert said.
When the sweep by police was completed, the center reopened about 10:45 a.m., Cohen said.
Bomb threats were also reported at Jewish community centers across the country, including in Boulder, Colo., and Salt Lake City.
Secure Community Network, which describes itself as a homeland security initiative on behalf of the American Jewish community, tweeted that 11 centers received threats.
On Jan. 18, bomb threats were made to 27 Jewish centers in 17 states, according to media reports. The FBI issued a statement at the time that federal officials were investigating possible civil rights violations stemming from the threats.
Those incidents followed similar threats to 16 Jewish centers in nine states on Jan. 9, made by what the FBI termed a “robocall” system.
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