Investigators seek public help in hoax bomb threats made in 28 counties

State and local investigators are asking for the public's help in finding who telephoned bomb threats Monday to courthouses in Jackson County and 27 other of Oregon's 36 counties, making Oregon the third state in three weeks targeted in similar mass hoaxes.

The Oregon State Police's Criminal Investigation Division and the Oregon Judicial Department are involved in coordinating a review of the phone threats to determine their connection to similar threat sprees Nov. 15 in Washington and Nov. 2 in Nebraska.

The threats in Oregon on Monday were phoned individually between 2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. to employees at 28 county courthouses and the Oregon Public Service Building, which houses the OSP's headquarters.

They included a man who telephoned Jackson County's elections office and said a bomb would explode in the courthouse in 25 minutes. The old County Courthouse at 10 N. Oakdale Ave. and the Justice Center across the street were evacuated and searched, but not the elections office on West Main Street, police said.

In all, 22 buildings were evacuated statewide, and no suspicious items were discovered, police said.

Josephine and Coos counties were not part of the threats.

Tips can also be reported to Oregon State Police via email to Information should have as much detail as possible and contact information, police said.

— Mark Freeman

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