Crime

Three bomb threats in two days, Durham's Southpoint back open for business

Police respond to another bomb threat at Durham's Southpointe Mall

Shoppers wait outside of Durham, N.C.'s Southpointe Mall after a reported bomb threat Monday morning, March 26, 2018. Police also responded to threats at the mall on Sunday.
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Shoppers wait outside of Durham, N.C.'s Southpointe Mall after a reported bomb threat Monday morning, March 26, 2018. Police also responded to threats at the mall on Sunday.

A group of California Pizza Kitchen employees shivered in the parking lot Monday morning.

They'd been waiting to get into their aprons and to get to work since 9:15 a.m. "We don't like bomb threats," said Jay Woods, a manager.

A second bomb threat made against The Streets at Southpoint, in just two days, was keeping the workers from clocking in.

By the afternoon, a third threat had been made.

On Sunday, police received a series of four, bomb-threatening phone calls targeting the mall's Nordstrom department store.

Police spokesman Wil Glenn said they came from a man in Virginia alerting police to the potential of dangerous — and possibly, dangerously placed — devices.

The first of Sunday's threats came in at 3:11 p.m., Glenn said.

No bomb was discovered Sunday, and the Nordstrom store and its surrounding areas were declared safe.

But at 8 a.m. Monday, a second bomb threat caused a second evacuation and the mall postponed its normal 10 a.m. opening time.

"Out of an abundance of caution, The Streets at Southpoint had a delayed opening this morning," said Southpoint spokeswoman Marissa Ellenby. "We are working in collaboration with the Durham Police Department as they conduct a full investigation."

A Durham County Sheriff's Office bomb dog checked the area.

At 11:07 a.m. Monday, the Police Department and Sheriff's Office cleared the scene, having again not discovered any bomb in the mall, said police spokeswoman Kammie Michael.

The California Pizza Kitchen staff resumed cooking as usual.

Ellenby added, "It is always disheartening when incidents like this occur, but please know the safety and well-being of our customers and employees is of the utmost importance."

A third threat was placed to the Police Department shortly after noon on Monday, Michael said, and officers responded at 12:05 p.m.

The mall reopened for business around 12:30 p.m.

Police had made no arrests as of Monday evening. Anyone with information is asked to call CrimeStoppers at (919) 683-1200. CrimeStoppers pays cash rewards for information leading to arrests in felony cases and callers never have to identify themselves.

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