Teen charged for prank bomb threat in Vernon - InfoNews

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Teen charged for prank bomb threat in Vernon

Police responded in full force after receiving a report of a possible bomb threat at the Landing Plaza in Vernon July 12, 2016.
November 02, 2016 - 9:00 PM

VERNON - A youth has been criminally charged in relation to a prank bomb threat at the Landing Plaza last summer.

The Vernon RCMP confirms a 17-year-old is facing a charge under the ‘false messages’ section of the criminal code after he allegedly made a prank call about a bomb.

The incident prompted a full scale emergency response from police, the fire department, B.C. Ambulance, and bylaw services on July 12. Numerous businesses in the Landing Plaza on 25 Avenue were evacuated and forced to close down while police investigated the threat.

While no one was hurt and the incident turned out to be a hoax, it was serious enough for police to recommend charges to Crown counsel. Shortly after the prank, Sgt. Mike Moyer of the Vernon RCMP said they wanted to send a strong message that such acts will not be tolerated.

The false messages charge is laid against people who send information they know to be false, either by letter, telegram, phone, cable or radio, with the intent to injure or alarm others. The offence carries a maximum sentence of two years in jail.

The incident in Vernon is not the first time police in the Interior have been deceived with false information — an act known as ‘swatting’. Last year in Kamloops, several schools were locked down due to swatting pranks involving fake bomb threats.

Because he is a minor, the teen’s identity is protected under the Youth Act.

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