Gas station employee says bomb threat prankster caught; police say no arrests

A Kelowna RCMP officer is seen with a package wrapped in Christmas paper following a search by a bomb sniffing dog at the Shell gas station at Harvey Avenue and Richter Street, Thursday, Jan. 5, 2017.

KELOWNA – Employees at the Shell gas station shut down by a bomb threat yesterday say the man responsible put it there as a prank and wanted to be caught.

The employee, who wishes not to be named, says the man phoned police saying he had placed an explosive device somewhere at the Shell gas station on the corner of Harvey Avenue and Richter Street the morning of Jan. 5, 2017.

RCMP evacuated the building and after more than an hour, a search by a bomb sniffing dog turned up a brightly-wrapped box which was taken away by an officer at the scene.

The employee says police told staff the box was empty, and said the suspect had recently been released from jail and made little effort to evade capture. Cpl. Jesse O'Donaghey says investigators have reviewed video surveillance but made no arrests. He would not confirm that a suspect has been identified.

"There is no reason to believe that the public is at any risk," he says in a media release. "The RCMP would like to reiterate that police take these types of situations seriously. We encourage the public to report all suspicious persons and occurrences to their local police."

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