Police believe a bomb threat that forced evacuations in one eastern Kentucky neighborhood may be linked to a scam!
It happened Tuesday afternoon on Baker Avenue in Hazard.
Police say a man called a home threatening to blow it up, if money wasn't wired to a Tennessee bank account.
Police say the caller demanded money be sent to an address in Memphis..
After investigating the location in Tennessee, Hazard Police discovered an elderly woman at that address was also scammed out of money, possibly by the same caller.
The bomb threat on Baker Avenue evacuated more than 20 homes. A bomb sniffing dog and an thorough search revealed no threat to the neighborhood, but family members are still on edge.
Police say the man demanded money, and if he didn't get it, the family's lives would be in danger.
“He stated that if they didn't pay, he was going to blow the house up, that he was going to kill them,” Detective David Wiseman said.
Busses loaded with children were routed back to the schools and neighbors evacuated to a nearby park.
“It was a fireman and he said that there was a bomb in the house next door and that were evacuating the neighborhood,” Renee Melton said.
The bomb threat suspect continued calling the family.
“After officers arrived, this gentleman contacted the family again. At that time, officers spoke with him and tried to get as much information as they could from him,” Detective Wiseman said.
The caller told the family he was watching them, yet was unable to give police specifics about the location.
Police say it appears there is no danger to the neighborhood at this time.
Police warn not to give bank account information or social security numbers to anyone over the phone.
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
After we spoke with Detective Wiseman, both he and the family received more phone calls and threats from the suspect, but police believe there is no threat to the family at this time.
The caller's telephone number was traced to Kingston, Jamaica.
The investigation continues in Tennessee and here in Hazard, but police say international scams are very difficult to track down.