Police: St. Clair Square was not the only target of bomb threat

News-DemocratJanuary 17, 2014 

St. Clair Square was not the only target of a bomb threat from the same suspect in the greater St. Louis area, according to police.

Fairview Heights and the FBI continued to investigate the bomb threats made Thursday against St. Clair Square. The mall was evacuated as a result of the threat.

There was at least one other bomb threat made Thursday in the St. Louis area that also was determined to be a hoax, Fairview Heights Detective James Mason said Friday afternoon. He declined to say where that threat was made.

"The Fairview Heights Police Department and FBI have identified this case as a hoax intended to disturb the natural operation of business with the city limits," he stated. "We have determined that St. Clair Square was not the only target of this type of bomb threat from the same suspect or suspects in the St. Louis Metro Area."

Police did not release any details about potential suspects, since the investigation is ongoing.

Shortly before 4 p.m. Thursday, the Fairview Heights Police Department received a phone call claiming that explosives were placed throughout the mall.

As a result, St. Clair Square was evacuated.

Police said Friday it was a hoax.

"We have determined that this incident holds no credibility of being a real or present danger," Mason said.

A person charged with falsely making a terrorist threat can face four to 15 years in Illinois prison and someone charged with false information and hoaxes can face up to five years in federal prison, police said.

More than 40 officials responded to the mall including those from the FBI, U.S. Marshals Service, Illinois Secretary of State Police, Scott Air Force Base Security Forces, St. Clair County Sheriff's Department, St. Clair County Emergency Management Agency, O'Fallon Police Department, St. Clair Square Public Safety and the Fairview Heights Police Department.

Anyone with information regarding the bomb threat is asked to call the Fairview Heights Police Department at 618-489-2130.

Contact reporter Maria Hasenstab at mhasenstab@bnd.com or 618-239-2460.

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