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Coquitlam RCMP scour social media for bomb threat culprit

RCMP cordon off Gleneagle secondary in Coquitlam following a bomb threat Thursday morning. - Dan Ebenal/The Tri-City News
RCMP cordon off Gleneagle secondary in Coquitlam following a bomb threat Thursday morning.
— image credit: Dan Ebenal/The Tri-City News

The Coquitlam RCMP may have identified the person responsible for phoning in a bomb threat at Gleneagle secondary last week.

Cpl. Jamie Chung told The Tri-City News on Monday that police are looking into someone who claimed responsibility for the incident on social media.

"Someone has been identified," he said. "It is through social media, so it takes a few more steps to confirm."

Last week, Chung confirmed that police were aware of a Twitter account on which someone posted they were responsible for the bomb threat.

A person with the handle @TheInstigate tweeted about the incident throughout the day, including one post that came in at around the same time the threat was called in to the Gleneagle office.

"Gleneagle Secondary School there are bombs pls evacuate now," the person posted at around 10:20 a.m. on Thursday. A tweet several hours later said: "Sorry Gleneagle secondary school, did I scare you."

The poster also took responsibility for a similar bomb threat at a school in Ontario and on Friday was posting about an incident in Calgary. A Walmart in the United States was also targeted on the account.

Investigators with the Coquitlam RCMP have been working with police in other parts of the country, including Calgary, Chung said.

There is no way to verify the accuracy of the Twitter reports although The Tri-City News attempted to make contact with the author, whose page gives a location of New Brunswick (as well as a link to the RCMP website).

On Monday, most of the posts on the Twitter feed had been deleted.

More than 1,300 students were moved to nearby Scott Creek middle school after a male phoned in the bomb threat to Gleneagle's front office Thursday morning. Police, firefighters, paramedics and city staff set up a command post on the property while a bomb-sniffing dog searched the school. Chung said nothing suspicious turned up in the search.

By 1:30 p.m., most students has been dismissed and night school classes scheduled for the evening at Gleneagle were moved to Riverside secondary in Port Coquitlam.

At the school, Gleneagle principal Gerald Shong thanked staff, students, parents and police for their assistance and patience throughout the ordeal. In a message to parents, he said Thursday was an "extraordinary day at Gleneagle" and that he was "proud that we took all the necessary steps to ensure the safety of our students in the building."

A Vancouver high school, King George secondary, was evacuated on Monday after someone phoned in a threat.

gmckenna@tricitynews.com

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