Fifth bomb threat at Western Illinois University
Thu, 11 Nov 2010 00:00:57 GMT —
UPDATE from WIU: November 11 at 3:46 p.m.
Western Illinois University President Al Goldfarb chose to address recent threats on the WIU-Macomb campus.
UPDATE from WIU: November 11 at 11:04 a.m.
Agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) continue to work with police officials on the Western Illinois University-Macomb campus today (Nov. 11) to conduct interviews, follow leads and tips and issue additional search warrants in connection with the rash of bomb threats occurring during the past two weeks on the WIU-Macomb campus.
According to WIU Office of Public Safety Director Bob Fitzgerald, the FBI has provided additional resources to assist in the investigation.
In addition to the FBI being on campus, Illinois State Police investigators are also working with the Office of Public Safety on investigating the threats and subsequent leads.
Individuals with information about the threats should contact the WIU Office of Public Safety at (309) 298-1949. Individuals with information leading to an arrest may be eligible to receive Western's Stop the Threat reward of up to $2,500 through the WIU Foundation. Individuals interested in contributing to the Stop the Threat Fund, may send donations, payable to the WIU Foundation Stop the Threat Fund, 303 Sherman Hall, 1 University Circle, Macomb, IL 61455-1390.
Information regarding these crimes may also be reported to Crime Stoppers, (309) 836-3222 or 1-800-222-TIPS. Callers can also leave an online tip at www.macombareacrimestoppers.com. Crime Stoppers will pay up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest.
For a list of frequently asked questions and a press conference in regards to the threats, visit wiu.edu/news/newsrelease.php?release_id43
UPDATE from WIU: November 10 at 8:50 p.m.
Western Illinois University students living in Higgins Hall may return to the residence hall. The Office of Public Safety and other emergency personnel have completed a thorough search of Higgins Hall and determined that the building may re-open. The Office of Public Safety and the FBI is continuing the investigation into the recent threats.Individuals with information about the threats should contact the WIU Office of Public Safety at (309) 298-1949.Individuals with information leading to an arrest may be eligible to receive Western's Stop the Threat reward of up to $2,500 through the WIU Foundation. Individuals interested in contributing to the Stop the Threat Fund, may send donations, payable to the WIU Foundation Stop the Threat Fund, 303 Sherman Hall, 1 University Circle, Macomb, IL 61455-1390.
UPDATE from WIU: November 10 at 7:50 p.m.
Western Illinois University's Office of Public Safety (OPS) is reporting an anonymous bomb threat in Higgins Hall. OPS reported that a note was found in the hall.
While at this time the Office of Public Safety does not believe it is a valid threat, the building has been evacuated, according to Director of Public Safety Robert Fitzgerald. Students will be allowed to return as soon as the building is searched and cleared by OPS.
Students at Western Illinois University don't really know what to think about the bomb threats that have happened at two dorms in recent weeks.
One person was arrested after the first threat.
But that still leaves three other threats unaccounted for.
WIU is working closely with the FBI to figure out where the other calls have come from.
As more threats come in, the emotions are changing.
Some students think it's a joke ...
"At this point I think it's just a hoax," said sophomore Mitchell Woodside.
And some students don't know what to believe...
"We were discussing it at work and its just at this point its like the fable Boy Who Cried Wolf. We don't even know what to expect anymore. We don't know if it's going to have another one in our dorm or if its going to have another one reported off in a different dorm so we really don't know anymore so we don't know what to expect," said sophomore Gordon Mitchell.
"They all could be a joke, or it could be serious so it's giving you that nervous feeling the entire time," said freshman David Glover.
But one thing is for sure...
"I think it's a little bit ridiculous that this keeps happening. They really need to catch who ever is doing this because it's really obnoxious," said freshman Jessica Moore.
It's not only students who feel this way either.
"This is sort of like a cyst in our community and in order for us to get back to the level or normal behavior on campus, normal expectation, we need to get rid of the cyst," said Vice President of Student Services Garry Johnson.
When the person is caught, they could face jail time and thousands of dollars in fines.
"When in fact we do find out who's responsible that we will hold them accountable to the maximum degree both legally and from the University's perspective," said Johnson.
If the caller is a student at Western, he or she could also face expulsion.
An investigation continues at Western Illinois University after four bomb threats have been called in since October 24th.
The first three were for Tanner Hall and the last one was for Thompson Hall.
Cameron McKoy, 18, was arrested October 25 on charges of transmitting a threat of destruction to a school.
He is accused of calling the front desk of Tanner Hall and telling the clerk there was a bomb in the dorm.
He was supposed to appear in court Wednesday but his date has been postponed.