Charlotte was among dozens of cities across the country Thursday plagued by multiple bomb threats with demands for money, according to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police.
In Charlotte, the threats caused some of the city’s apartment towers to be evacuated in the middle of the day, sending crowds of people out to the sidewalks of uptown. Sixteen sites in Charlotte received threats, CMPD Lt. Brad Koch said.
CMPD alerted the community through a tweet shortly after 2:30 p.m. that it was “actively investigating multiple unsubstantiated bomb threats” in the Charlotte area Thursday afternoon.
“At this time, there are similar reports happening in other cities across the country,” CMPD tweeted.
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“All of the (Charlotte) threats came in between 1:37 p.m. and 3:53 p.m.” CMPD said in a news release shortly after 5 p.m. “... No suspicious packages or devices were located at any of the locations.”
The Charlotte bomb threats were mostly in uptown Charlotte, but Koch said locations in Ballantyne and north Charlotte were also targeted. Another address police listed in a news release later Thursday as receiving a bomb threat was 230 N. College St., the same address as the Holiday Inn Charlotte-Center City.
Around 3:45 p.m., Koch said police were still actively investigating the threats but had not found anything suspicious. All the threats were emailed, he said, with the first one aimed at the Vue around 1:30 p.m.
“They all want some sort of financial compensation,” Koch told reporters.
Witnesses reported evacuations at the 50-story Vue apartments tower in the 200 block of North Pine Street and the 27-story Catalyst apartments building in the 200 block of West Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
Vue residents and visitors were outside for about an hour after the threat, according to Nicole Chaney, who said she runs a dog walking business and was visiting a client in the Vue at the time.
The Observer’s news partner WBTV reported a bomb threat was also made in Watauga County, prompting deputies to shut down multiple roads in the area of State Farm Road and Boone Heights Drive.
The York County, S.C., Sheriff’s Office tweeted that three bomb threats were made in that county.
One threat was at the York County public works complex in York, behind the Moss Justice Center courthouse, The (Rock Hill) Herald reported.. Two other threats were in Fort Mill, on Market Street in Baxter Village and Spring Hill Farm Road, Trent Faris, sheriff’s office spokesperson, told the Herald.
All three threats were cleared by the York County Sheriff’s Office at 3:19 p.m., authorities said in an alert update, according to the Herald.
At 3:45 p.m., the Union County Sheriff’s Office posted on Facebook that its office received a report of a bomb threat emailed to a business, “shortly after Monroe PD responded to another. These matters are being investigated but are NOT believed to be credible.”
Employees at The (Raleigh) News & Observer also were evacuated after a threat, along with hundreds of other workers in the 17-story One City Plaza. The building houses The N&O and several other companies on Fayetteville Street.
Police in the eastern North Carolina town of New Bern said the community’s hospital, CarolinaEast Medical Center, was put on lock down after receiving a bomb threat. Police officials said on Twitter that New Bern received “a series” of bomb threats.
News outlets across the country were reporting a similar rash of bomb threats in their communities, including in South Carolina, Virginia, New York, Iowa, Nevada, Michigan and Idaho.
The sites include government buildings, businesses, universities, apartment towers and newspapers.
Bomb threats were made to local businesses and a school in Norfolk and Virginia Beach, Va., the Virginian-Pilot reported.
The New York City Police Department reported that the emailed threats demanded payment in bitcoin.
“While this email has been sent to numerous locations, searches have been conducted and NO DEVICES have been found,” NYPD tweeted.
The Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Police Department said bomb threats were made in “robo emails” to four businesses, and there was “no credible evidence” of any bombs.
The Massachusetts State Police tweeted that the bomb threats were being emailed to “numerous” businesses in that state and that similar threats had been received in other states.
At about 5 p.m. Thursday, CMPD issued a news release with all 16 addresses that received bomb threats. The addresses included:
▪ 1300 Baxter St., where the Midtown Centre office building is located.
▪ 601 E. Fifth St., site of a building housing the nonprofit Children & Family Services Center in uptown.
▪ 300 S. Tryon St., where a 25-story office tower named 300 South Tryon opened in November.
▪ 3314 Rainbow Circle, in an industrial area off Atando Avenue and North Graham Street in north Charlotte.
▪ 3110 Cullman Ave., the address listed for a leather goods wholesaler in Charlotte’s NoDa area.
▪ 4428 Taggart Creek Road, the address listed for NC MedAssist, whose website describes it as “a nonprofit pharmacy program providing access to lifesaving prescription medications, patient support, advocacy and related services to poor, vulnerable, and uninsured North Carolina residents.”
▪ 1355 Continental Blvd., a commercial/industrial area off Westinghouse Boulevard.
▪ 10100 Ballantyne Commons Parkway. The Ballantyne Hotel & Lodge’s listed address is 10000 Ballantyne Commons Parkway.
▪ 2200 Coronation Blvd., off Sardis Road North near East Independence Boulevard. The address is the same listed for both the King David Christian Conservatory performing arts school and a Planet Fitness.
▪ 305 Doggett St., the address of a gas-fired heating products manufacturer off South Tryon Street.
▪ 930 Culp Road in Pineville, the address of a wastewater and water pump equipment seller.
▪ 3735 Glen Lake Road, the address off West Tyvola Road listed for an office building that includes a company whose website says it ”converts iron ore into high-purity direct reduced iron for use in steelmaking, ironmaking, and foundry applications” and another company whose website says it supplies equipment to “utilities building large combined-cycle, thermal, hydro or nuclear power stations.”
▪ 13410 South Ridge Road, the address off South Tryon Street in southwest Charlotte listed for a distributor of fastener supplies.
In its news release, CMPD urged “the community to remain vigilant and to call 911 if they see anything suspicious or receive a threat.”