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EC resident hit with bomb threat as part of nationwide hoax

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From staff reports

Saturday, December 15, 2018

An Elizabeth City resident was targeted by a bomb threat on Thursday — apparently as part of a nationwide wave of bomb threats that turned out to be a hoax. 

The Elizabeth City Police Department investigated the bomb threat and hoax against Tanglewood Apartments, City Manager Rich Olson said Friday in his weekly update to the mayor and members of City Council.

Olson said a resident of Tanglewood Apartments reported the threat to police after receiving an email claiming “there was a bomb on the property and it would be detonated if $20,000 was not sent to a Bitcoin address.”

Bitcoin is a digital currency that makes it harder to identify who's involved in transactions.

The person or persons making the threat also claimed “the bomb would not damage structures, but would cause many injuries,” Olson said.

City police officers “completely investigated this crime and saw no threat of danger, determining it was a hoax,” he said.

In a followup interview on Friday, Olson said it was not clear why the specific city resident received the threat. He also said the threat originated from outside of Elizabeth City, and appeared to be part of a broader wave of bomb threats.

According to The Washington Post and other national media outlets, authorities investigated bomb threats, none so far found to be credible, made Thursday from coast to coast. The threats similarly demanded payment in bitcoins.

Olson said some jurisdictions have coordinated the threats in their cities with federal authorities, but he said he didn't know how North Carolina is handling the threats made in the state.

Making a bomb threat is a felony in North Carolina, Olson also said.

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