TOLEDO (WTOL) - Dozens of bomb threats were reported nationwide at news outlets, government buildings, banks, libraries, schools and other businesses on Thursday afternoon.
Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan were not immune, as several organizations reported receiving threats.
No evidence of bombs were found in the local locations and those that were searched were given the all clear.
The threats seemed to be hoaxes, but they were being taken seriously out of precaution.
According to the Wood County Sheriff’s Office website, authorities responded to threats on Gypsy Lane in Bowling Green, and the 9600 block of Fremont Pike in Perrysburg.
Rossford Police and Fire said they were investigating multiple bomb threats at the Target store in the Crossroads. An all-clear for the store was given at 3:29 p.m., and it reopened after the police search.
Toledo Police said they knew of several bomb threats that have been sent out, apparently via email, this afternoon to a number of places in the area. The New York Police Department also has tweeted regarding the threats apparently being sent there.
Threats apparently are coming from a mass email where a writer demands payment in Bitcoin in exchange for safety from the alleged bomb.
The emails read: "Good day. I write you to inform you that my mercenary has hidden a bomb (tronitrotoluene) in the building where your company is conducted. My mercenary built the explosive device according to my instructions. It is compact and it is covered up very carefully, it is impossible to damage the structure of the building by my bomb, but there will be many wounded people if it explodes.
"My mercenary is watching the situation around the building. If any strange activity or emergency is noticed he will power the bomb.
“I would like to suggest you a deal. You pay me 20.000 dollars in bitcoin and explosive will not detonate, but do not try to cheat -I ensure you that I have to withdraw my recruited person solely after 3 confirmations in blockchain network.”
Bitcoin is digital currency created and exchanged independent of banks or governments. Transactions typically are completed anonymously, making the currency popular among people who want to conceal their financial activity.
Nationwide, Columbine High School, WNDU in Indiana and Capital University were among those evacuated for bomb threats.
Oklahoma City police said at least 10 bomb threats had been reported and up to a dozen were reported in Chicago.
A Jewish Community Center in San Francisco was evacuated for a bomb threat. Threats also were reported in Florida, Utah, Iowa, Maryland, New York and North Carolina.
Agencies urge the public to continue to remain vigilant and report suspicious activities.
Michigan State Police asks that anyone who received an email to save the email and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org as an attachment.
The FBI sent out a statement regarding the nationwide threats. "We are aware of the recent bomb threats made in cities around the country, and we remain in touch with our law enforcement partners 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.”