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By Eric Heinz, The San Clemente Times
A bomb threat sent to Stance Socks employees the morning of Thursday, Dec. 13 was part of a nationwide hoax, said Lt. Mike Peters, chief of San Clemente Police Services.
The threat, sent in an email, demanded 20,000 in Bitcoin cryptocurrency or those responsible would detonate an explosive they said had been left inside the building. The email also said a mercenary would detonate the device if the payment was not made to a link to an account by the end of the day.
A quick search of bomb threats on Google showed multiple incidents of bomb-threat hoaxes across the nation, but every threat is investigated by officers. Stance Stocks employees were evacuated from the headquarters so officers could investigate.
Peters said the Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) bomb squad had been dispatched to the Stance headquarters off Avenida La Pata around 11:30 a.m. as a precaution to the owner of the business who requested an inspection.
Lt. Peters said Lake Forest and Riverside and other places around the county received the email.
“It’s all across the county and nation,” Peters said, adding that no other business in San Clemente has reported receiving the threat.
Harold Ambuehl Elementary School in San Juan Capistrano and Chaparral Elementary School in Ladera Ranch were included in the list of businesses and schools that received the hoax emails throughout the country that morning, according to Ryan Burris, Capistrano Unified School District’s (CUSD) spokesperson.
When the two schools received the emails, OCSD was notified as well as CUSD’s Safety and Student Services Executive Director Mike Beekman, said Burris.
In a statement from OCSD public affairs that Thursday, Dispatch had received multiple calls regarding the bomb threats. OCSD said sheriff’s deputies had responded to each threat, but they still believed it to be a hoax.
Stance personnel have not yet been available for comment.
OCSD wants people to report anything suspicious to call 714.647.7000 or 911 in an emergency.
Shawn Raymundo contributed to this story