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home : news : north central illinois   May 29, 2016

12/3/2012 9:01:00 AM
UPDATE: Peru Mall reopens after 'BOMB' threat

Peru police evacuated the Peru Mall on Monday morning after a bomb threat.NewsTribune photo/Jeff Dankert
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Peru police evacuated the Peru Mall on Monday morning after a bomb threat.
NewsTribune photo/Jeff Dankert
Jeff Dankert
NewsTribune Reporter

Peru Mall was evacuated and closed nearly three hours this morning due to a bomb scare — an unnecessary one, as it turned out.
Authorities were alerted to a suspicious note that contained the word “BOMB.”
But it turned out the word “Bomb” wasn’t a reference to an explosive device — it was a delivery acronym that stands for “Billed Order Maintenance and Batching.”
The word “bomb” wasn’t the only thing that alarmed the dock crew at Jo-Ann Fabrics and Crafts, however.
Peru police said the note, handwritten in red ink, stated, “This is a new store. It has not been ‘bombed’ since (date withheld).”
By the time the mix-up was discovered and the evacuation lifted at 9:45 a.m., mall patrons and workers had been evacuated nearly three hours and motorists turned away.
Julie Pacholski of Peru was among the motorists who circled the lot in search of a parking space only to be denied entry.
“I couldn’t even get close enough to get an explanation,” she said. “They just kept waving people off.”
An Illinois Secretary of State bomb squad had been summoned, but still was 90 minutes away when Peru police told them to go home.
Police chief Doug Bernabei said everyone at the scene reacted “completely appropriately.”
But he wasn’t laughing at the distribution’s choice of wording.
“It boggles my mind that a national company would use the word ‘bomb’ and affix the letter to a package from a distribution center to a retail center in 2012,” he said.

Jeff Dankert can be reached at (815) 220-6977.

Related Stories:
• Recapping the Peru Mall bomb incident on social media

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