Rockford's Independent Newspaper

Area law enforcement investigating bomb threats

By Jim Hagerty

ROCKFORD — Rockford-area police agencies are investigating bomb threats at various businesses.

The Rockford Catholic Diocese received a threat at 1:30 p.m. Thursday. The building was quickly evacuated and and police searched the property with the bomb squad and a HAZMAT team. No device was found.

Winnebago County Sheriff Gary Caruana said other Rockford locations received threats, and each was unfounded.

“We will drill down and investigate as much as we can,” he said. “We will try to ascertain how and from where they are coming from, whether they are coming in through email or coming in through phones.”

Caruana said it is too early to determine those details  but the investigation is ongoing. Criminal charges will be filed against those who carried out the hoax in Winnebago County, he said.

It was the same story in Cook, McHenry and Ogle counties. The Rochelle Community Hospital and two schools in McHenry were among buildings searched by police. No explosives were discovered.

Authorities say the threats were part of a string of false reports that occurred across the United States. Threats were also reported in Chicago, New York City, Aurora, Colorado and Boise, Idaho to name a few.

The FBI is also investigating the hoax. R.

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