Scott D. Benton, Chief of Police
20 Essex St
Whitman, MA 02382
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, May 30, 2017
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Whitman Police Investigating Automated Hoax Bomb Threat
Similar Threat Phoned in to Kentucky Business This Week
WHITMAN — Police Chief Scott Benton reports that the Whitman Police Department is investigating a hoax bomb threat that was phoned into a local business this morning.
The Whitman Police and Fire Departments responded to an insurance office on Bedford Street at 8:45 a.m. today for a report of a bomb threat. Upon arrival, police and fire department officials made the decision to close Bedford Street, also known as Rt. 18, during the investigation. Surrounding businesses, including a fast food restaurant, were evacuated for a short time out of an abundance of caution.
Chief Benton and Fire Chief Timothy J. Grenno both responded to the scene.
The Massachusetts State Police Bomb Squad responded and police conducted a thorough search of the business. Nothing dangerous was found, and the threat was determined to be not credible.
“While we regret the inconvenience this incident may have caused, we hope that citizens and motorists understand that these precautions can sometimes be necessary,” Chief Benton said. “These cases require the utmost caution, because being wrong even once can result in dire consequences.”
The threat was received by the business owner via fax. The threat was identical to another faxed message reportedly received by a newspaper printing plant in London, Ky. on Monday. In both messages, the owner is instructed to wire $25,000 to a Brazilian national in Chicago.
Whitman Police warn business owners that these faxes are hoaxes, and any money wired to anonymous individuals will be lost forever and cannot be recovered.
During the investigation, Whitman Police and Fire were assisted at the scene by Abington and East Bridgewater Police units.
The incident is under investigation by the Whitman Police Department, the Massachusetts State Police, and federal authorities.