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At least 3 bomb threats investigated in Mid-Michigan

Posted at 9:55 PM, Dec 13, 2018

LANSING, Mich. — The Veterans Memorial Courthouse in downtown Lansing received a bomb threat via email Thursday afternoon.

People in the courthouse were told to leave as a precaution but have since been told it is safe to return to the building, according to workers speaking with one of our reporters.

Ingham County Sheriff's deputies were assisted by Lansing Police dogs in searching for explosives at the courthouse.

The evacuation put court hearings and other county work on hold.

"I really wish this stuff doesn't happen because it hinders our productivity," said Guy Sweet, a county employee.

Dozens of people were forced to stand out in the cold, but some walked to the library to stay warm.

"We have drills and we know how to respond when these things happen," one worker said.

The threat claimed there was a bomb inside the building that would detonate unless the sender got what they wanted -- $20,000 worth of Bitcoin.

These threats have been sent by email to multiple places, including various news organizations and colleges, around the country on Thursday.

East Lansing Police Department is investigating a threat received by a business in the 1400 block of Abbott Road in East Lansing.

The scene was cleared by 3:15 p.m., according to police.

The police department was assisted by Ingham County Sheriff's canines to check the area but found nothing in the area, according to the police department.

The sheriff's office said it has investigated three bomb threats, including the one at the courthouse, but found nothing.

They haven't said where the third threat happened.

"As of this time, there (have) been no reports of explosive detonation relating to these threats. #SeeSay," the Michigan State Police tweeted at around 3:45 p.m.

Lansing police and other law-enforcement agencies say this was more of a scam than terrorism. The FBI says it was not a credible threat.

"If you receive a bomb threat, we ask that you save the email and send to as an attachment," MSP tweeted.

The MSP Cyber Crimes detective went into more detail.

Det. Michael Teachout said these cases are quite common and are classified as email extortion. The sender will demand some type of monetary return.

MSP says this type of crime is viewed as a scam and is often seen during the holiday season.

"This is a very common scam. It comes around a lot of times during the holiday season; people looking for money or some kind of monetary goal," Teachout said. "Don't take anything lightly. Don't ignore it."

Eaton, Clinton and Jackson counties' sheriff offices have not received reports of threats.

Police say there have been no reports of explosions or injuries related to these threats.

Several media outlets across the nation also received bomb threats Thursday afternoon, including News 10's sister stations WLUC in Marquette; WNDU in South Bend, Indiana; WSAW in Wausau, Wisconsin; WBKO in Bowling Green, Kentucky; KTUU in Anchorage, Alaska; and KCRG in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.