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Chandler business among locations across country to receive email threats

Posted at 2:19 PM, Dec 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-13 19:44:06-05

CHANDLER, AZ — A Chandler business was one of dozens of institutions across the country to receive email threats Thursday afternoon, prompting evacuations and sweeps of buildings.

At this time it unclear if the threats -- which have also been received at locations throughout San Francisco, at the University of Washington in Seattle, and at Penn State University in Pennsylvania, among other places -- are connected. 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.

Police confirmed that Group Mobile, a mobile technology business based in Chandler, received a bomb threat via email around 11 a.m. Thursday. Sgt. Seth Tyler said the Chandler Police Department's Criminal Investigations Bureau is continuing to investigate, but the business is currently open and operating as normal.

The Phoenix Police Department issued the following statement in regards to the e-mail:

"The Phoenix Police Department is aware of the email that has been circulating nationwide regarding bomb threats. There have been calls for service in Phoenix reference this email, but at this time, none of the calls have been valid. We are working with our Federal, State and Local partners to determine the credibility of these threats. We will continue to assess each call for service and handle them in accordance with our current protocol."

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 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.

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.