Bank receives second bomb threat

CNJ staff photo: Sharna Johnson Clovis police officers gather in the parking lot of the Bank of America on Prince Street as they begin securing the area after a bomb threat was reported by the bank.

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer

A bomb threat received by Bank of America on North Prince Street led to the bank being closed for over an hour Friday while police checked the premises.

No bomb was found.

It was the second such incident at the bank in just over two weeks.

Around 11 a.m., bank employees called 911 and reported a caller said a bomb would be brought to the bank sometime today, according to Clovis police Capt. Patrick Whitney.

Police searched the bank three times and found nothing, Whitney said.

He said bank officials made the decision not to call in bomb dogs or Explosive Ordnance Disposal from Cannon Air Force Base.

A patrol officer and detective were assigned to stay at the bank for the rest of the business day as a precaution, he said.

Because the bank is located on private property, it is the business officials’ decision to reopen or to request explosive experts be called, Whitney said.

Bank officials reported the caller was female, asked if it was the same bank that had received a threat a couple of weeks ago and told them “well there’s going to be a real bomb,” Whitney said.

Police traced today’s call to a convenience store pay phone at Eleventh and Mitchell Streets. Whitney said detectives were at the store Friday afternoon attempting to recover any video footage or witness statements that may lead them to the caller.

Police are investigating to determine if today’s threat is connected to the one made over two weeks ago at the same bank.
Whitney said making bomb threats is a felony.

District Attorney Matt Chandler said such threats are taken very seriously.

A Clovis man made bomb threats against Clovis Community College in 2005 and was sentenced to 18 months in prison, he said.

In the June 11 Bank of America threat, a caller told bank personnel around 1 p.m. a bomb had been delivered to the bank. The call was placed from a pay phone at the same convenience store, according to police reports.

Explosive experts, including bomb-sniffing dogs, were called to the scene and it was eventually determined there was no bomb.