Bogus bomb threat made to Jewish center in San Diego

Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center in La Jolla

SAN DIEGO – Another in a series of bogus bomb threats against Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center in University City prompted police to search the facility Wednesday.

Administrators at the Executive Drive center contacted San Diego police shortly before 11 a.m. to report receiving the menacing email, SDPD spokesman Billy Hernandez said.

Officers went through the complex with bomb-sniffing dogs to make sure no hazards were present. No evacuation was instituted, unlike on the previous occasions when the same crime was committed, Hernandez said.

By early afternoon, police had completed their sweep of the premises and deemed the threat unfounded, according to Dan Shapiro, marketing director for the center.

LFJCC Executive Director Michael Cohen said his agency’s “facilities and programs (were) operating as usual” following the precautionary search.

“We want to assure the community that the JCC is safe and secure,” Cohen stated.

It was the fourth false threat of violence lodged against the center since the beginning of the year, continuing a spate of crimes that occurred amid a rash of similar offenses across the country.

Last week, a man was arrested in St. Louis in connection with at least eight fake bomb threats against Jewish centers across the country as part of an alleged campaign to harass a former girlfriend.

Juan Thompson, 31, allegedly targeted Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center on Feb. 20, according to a criminal complaint. Late that night, the San Diego facility received an email falsely claiming that Thompson’s former girlfriend had planted a bomb there to “kill as many Jews asap (sic),” according to the charging document.