LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Dozens of institutions across the country received email threats Thursday afternoon, prompting evacuations and sweeps of buildings.
Las Vegas police reported multiple businesses throughout its jurisdiction received the email bomb threat and said they appear to be related to each other. Police said the hoax bomb threats are being investigated and no devices have been located at this time.
Multiple businesses throughout LVMPD’s jurisdiction have received an email bomb threat, similar to those reported nationally. These hoax bomb threats seem to be related to each other. The threats are being investigated and no devices have been located at this time. #LVMPDnews— LVMPD (@LVMPD) December 13, 2018
"They were shouting 'Bomb Threat! Evacuate Immediately!' really loud and just 'leave now, hurry leave now' through the building," said one evacuated employee who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
The Nevada State Business Center, which houses a variety of state agencies and about 200 employees, was forced to evacuate around 11 a.m., Thursday.
"It was just a long time to wait until they cleared the building and people did not have their purses or their keys," added the employee.
The evacuated employees were ushered into the parking lot near Sahara and Valley View Blvd., and they quickly flooded into nearby businesses.
"We just asked people for patience and to stay calm," said Victor Azevedo, owner of Gianna's Pizza.
Azevedo said his restaurant was slammed for more than 2 hours as the evacuated employees waited.
"We noticed, actually, the whole entire building and around it was evacuated," said Azevedo.
Las Vegas police deemed the building safe around 2 p.m.
Threats were eceived at locations throughout San Francisco, at the University of Washington in Seattle, and at Penn State University in Pennsylvania, among other places. The FBI said it is aware of the threats and is working with law enforcement to provide assistance.
"As always, we encourage the public to remain vigilant and to promptly report suspicious activities which could represent a threat to public safety," the FBI said.
In Seattle, UW noted in a campus-wide alert that the FBI had "advised that the email is not a credible threat."The university concluded sweeps of possibly affected buildings.
The university concluded sweeps of possibly affected buildings.
The Thurston County Courthouse in Olympia, Washington and the Park Record newspaper in Park City, Utah also received similarly threatening emails. People have been allowed back inside buildings at those locations, according to tweets on their verified Twitter accounts.
Park City, Utah also received similarly threatening emails. People have been allowed back inside buildings at those locations, according to tweets on their verified Twitter accounts.
In California, the Riverside Sheriff's Office had "an influx of email threats" and is taking them seriously, although no threat has been substantiated.
The San Francisco Police Department responded to reports of bomb threats at locations throughout the city.
"We have received information that several other cities across the United States have received similar threats," police said.
Pennsylvania State Police are "investigating some bomb threats in the eastern part of the state," a spokesman for the department tells CNN.
"Penn State University Police, in conjunction with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, is investigating a message received by individuals in multiple locations on campus and across the state," the university said in a statement. "Police say this does not appear to be a legitimate threat, however, an investigation is ongoing."
University police later said the threat appears to be a hoax.
Email threats have also been received in Canada.
Vancouver Police Department Sgt. Jason Robillard tells CNN that businesses have received threats. He is not aware of any buildings that have evacuated.
The Chicago Police Department received 15 to 20 reports of emailed threats in the past few hours, according to Officer Jennifer Bryk.
Director of Communications Anthony Guglielmi tweeted, "#ChicagoPolice are working with federal partners on the investigation, and at this time there is no elevated threat level for the city of Chicago."
Threats were also emailed to locations in New York City and Atlanta; the Charlotte News & Observer and the Raleigh News & Observer newspapers in North Carolina; and three sites in Miami.
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