In the past 24 hours, the Santa Barbara Police Department has received four false bomb threats to the local community. Three involved local businesses and one involved the Santa Barbara Police Department.
The Santa Barbara Police Department says they take these types of calls seriously and in each case immediately responded conducting thorough searches of the locations. Included in those searches were the use of bomb detection dogs and at times, evacuations. In each case, no bombs or other similar-type devices were located. At this time there is no reason to believe these threats are credible.
Occasionally, the Santa Barbara Police Department says they receive false emergency calls involving reports of crimes or the threat of crimes such as bomb threats. These types of calls referred to as “swatting” incidents, sometimes bring about a large number of armed police officers and other resources to a particular address. This type of false reporting of an emergency is illegal and dangerous. Police officials say fake or prank emergency calls place first responders and members of the community at risk and tie up emergency resources.
The Santa Barbara Police Department says they thoroughly investigate all false reports of emergencies. Included in this investigation is a notification to the FBI which is standard protocol in these types of investigations.
These incidents remain under investigation. Anyone with information is asked to call the Santa Barbara Police Department at (805) 882-8900.