FAIR LAWN, N.J. (WUNF) — More than two dozen North Jersey schools were locked down or evacuated in response to a string of threatening phone calls Tuesday according to authorities.
In Bergen County, 26 schools were impacted by the threatening messages according to Bergen County Sheriff Michael Saudino. The details were learned at a news conference in Hackensack. Some of the threats came in an automated, computer-generated call, which was traced to Bakersfield, California.
Officials said that they searched schools in at least nine Bergen County towns and one in Passaic County, but found no explosives. The threats forced evacuations, school lockdowns and prompted a major law enforcement response.
(PHOTO COURSEY: KYLE MAZZA / UNF NEWS)
Students at Teaneck High School were moved to the town’s community center while other districts such as Leonia and Garfield blocked anyone from entering or leaving the schools as officials responded.
The response in Garfield also drew police from Lodi, Paramus, Passaic, Rochelle Park and Saddle Brook, authorities said. The threat was discovered around 8:20 a.m. and officials lifted the lockdown order around 12:45 p.m.
Leonia, Tenafly, Teaneck, Garfield, Fair Lawn, Hackensack, Englewood and Bergenfield schools received the threats, said Bergen County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Anthony Cureton.
The threats in New Jersey appeared similar to others reported in Delaware and Massachusetts also on Tuesday.
Massachusetts State Police said schools in at least ten communities there received bomb threats, some by automated phone calls.
In Delaware, three schools received threats Tuesday morning. According to state police, “a robotic style or computer generated voice phone call was received in each of the school’s offices,” around 9:30 a.m.
Authorities have not said if the threats were related to those in New Jersey.
UNF News Reporter Dylan Campese in Delaware sent out a breaking news tweet and post on Facebook during the situation.
PUBLISHED | 01/19/16 | 8:16 PM ET
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