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Wal-Mart bomb threats came from out of country, police say

Police search the Walmart on North Atherton Street with dogs on Thursday, September 24 2015. Managers outside of the store requested patrons to stay across the street as they performed a safety sweep.
Police search the Walmart on North Atherton Street with dogs on Thursday, September 24 2015. Managers outside of the store requested patrons to stay across the street as they performed a safety sweep. CDT photo

A Canadian man was arrested after allegedly making seven bomb threats directed at the Wal-Mart on North Atherton Street.

Andrew Wells-Scott, 20, was charged with four counts of conveying a false message by Ontario Provincial Police in Canada. He could face up to two years in prison if convicted.

Patton Township police worked with the FBI’s State College’s Resident Agency of the Philadelphia Division, FBI Legat-Ottowa and Ontario police to determine Wells-Scott was allegedly behind the bomb threats made between Sept. 24 and Oct. 23, causing the Wal-Mart to be evacuated each time, sometimes for hours to allow bomb sniffing dogs to do full sweeps of the building.

“The Patton Township Police Department worked tirelessly with its law enforcement partners to resolve this case,” Patton Police Chief John Petrick said. “The Patton Township Police Department takes incidents of this nature very seriously and will use available resources to investigate.”

Wells-Scott was arrested Monday after Peterborough County OPP crime unit police served a search warrant at his residence. He was later released on bail.

Peterborough County OPP spokesman Jason Folz said he does not know of any link between Wells-Scott and the State College area, calling the threats seemingly random. He also declined to release a photo of the man or, citing police department policy, and said he could not talk about someone’s criminal history.

It is unknown if Wells-Scott will face charges in the United States.

Centre County District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller was not immediately available for comment on the possibility of Wells-Scott being extradited to face charges in the U.S. FBI spokeswoman Carrie Adamowski deferred comment to Parks Miller and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Petrick told the Centre Daily Times in September that the bomb threats could be felony offenses, which echoed comments made by Parks Miller to the CDT in May 2014. Making bomb threats could be grounds for felony charges of terroristic threats, she said when two Philipsburg-Osceola Area High School students were identified as making a pair of bomb threats in April 2014.

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