Threat disrupts foreclosure sale; Caller claimed bomb was buried near Justice Center
by Megan Thornton
mthornton@cherokeetribune.com
January 03, 2013 12:00 AM | 6639 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A foreclosure sale resumes shortly after a bomb threat to the Cherokee County Justice Center on Wednesday.<br>Staff/Todd Hull
A foreclosure sale resumes shortly after a bomb threat to the Cherokee County Justice Center on Wednesday.
Staff/Todd Hull
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CANTON — After a search of the area surrounding the Cherokee County Justice Center, a bomb threat received Wednesday morning was determined to not be a legitimate threat, Sheriff Roger Garrison said.

Lt. Jay Baker, spokesman for the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Officer, said a call was made to the Cobb County 911 center and the caller said bombs were buried outside both the Cobb County Courthouse and Cherokee County Justice Center.

Sheriff Roger Garrison said after receiving word of the threat, local law enforcement agencies responded and a complete search was conducted.

“Based on the circumstances (of the threat), we focused on the outside of the building,” Garrison said.

At the time of the threat, the county’s monthly foreclosure sale was taking place on the Cherokee courthouse steps and was briefly disrupted as deputies set up a perimeter around the building, though the building was not evacuated, Baker said.

Law enforcement also stopped all traffic into the downtown Canton area for a short period of time. However, court business was going on as usual, Garrison said, and the courthouse was open with the normal security in effect.

“K-9 (units) were called in and a search was conducted outside the building,” Baker said. “After the K-9 search revealed nothing, normal operations resumed at the Justice Center.”

Just before 11:20 a.m., the foreclosure auction resumed and only a light police presence was seen in the area.

Baker said the Cherokee Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division is investigating the incident.

As part of the investigation, the sheriff’s office is looking at foreclosure notices published in the Cherokee Tribune, the county legal organ, for names that also were advertised foreclosures on the same date as a similar bomb threat in June, another day when the monthly foreclosure sale was scheduled.

The June 5 threats, made to Atlanta 911 and Cobb 911 at two different times that day, effectively shut down the Cherokee County Justice Center that day and forced sales to be re-advertised. No bomb was found and business resumed the next day.

Police followed leads from surveillance footage from a Cobb convenience store where 911 calls were made the day of the earlier threat, but the leads did not end in an arrest. The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office released a video of a silver Cadillac Deville the caller may have been driving, but the tag number was not visible.

After the June threat, investigators said one theory in the case is the possibility the caller or callers were trying to disrupt the auction of foreclosed properties.

“That is certainly one of many scenarios we are considering and it is a good scenario,” Capt. Joe Perkins said at the time.
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