Phone Threats Create Big Problems - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

04/17/05 - East Texas

Phone Threats Create Big Problems

by Chris Cato

It was a crazy scene at the Adult Probation Office Friday in Lufkin. Officers with bomb dogs searched the grounds after someone phoned in a threat. While situations like that may be amusing to the caller, they're not amusing to police.

Stephen Abbott of the Lufkin Police Department said, "You're looking at minimum Class A Felony or Class A Misdemeanor which can lead you up to a year imprisonment."

A stiff penalty for what many consider nothing more than a crank call, but officers say it's more than that. If they're running around looking for a bomb that doesn't exist, they might be missing something else.

Abbott said, "Disturbances, robberies, and even simply conducting traffic accidents, directing traffic accidents. Without that officer there, it could lead to a dangerous situation."

While many callers may not think they'll ever get caught, with today's technology, it's almost too easy to get busted.

Abbott said, "A lot of the businesses are already recording phone calls for customer service purposes. Therefore, there is evidence of your call, and you will get caught, especially with caller ID."

Police say, even if a caller uses a cell phone, they can get busted. As a matter of fact, the use of a cell phone sometimes makes it easier to trace the call.

Police say one of the biggest dangers of these threatening callers is that they can cause a panic, especially when it comes to schools. That's why it automatically ups the penalty if you call in a threat to a school or public transportation system.

In the case of Friday's threatening call, police say they are still investigating the incident, and there are no suspects at this time.

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