Elmira/Corning Regional Airport

Ithaca Bomb Scare

A suspicious package left near a bank on the Ithaca commons sparks a bomb scare, forcing neighbors in the area to evacuate.

Ithaca Bomb Scare
 

October 11, 2012

Ithaca (WENY) - A suspicious package left near a bank on the Ithaca commons sparks a bomb scare, forcing neighbors in the area to evacuate. Police handled the situation without incident, but neighbors say they're annoyed at what they call, "a practical joke."

Around 3 o'clock this afternoon Ithaca Police received a call from someone at the Bank of America on the Ithaca Commons about a suspicious package with threatening writing on it. Police immediately closed off the Commons and evacuated everyone. The package turned out to be nothing, but for four hours the commons was closed to all traffic, including potential customers. Police said the package was thoroughly checked and it was not a bomb. With the help of the Seneca County bomb sniffing canine unit and the new york state police bomb disposal team, officials were able to dispose of the threat in a little more than four hours, but the so called "bomb" destroyed something else, a days worth of business.

      “If it isn’t real then it is very annoying and is not very kind because people are losing a lot of money.”

      Store owners like Hedi Brown are not happy about the impromptu half day.

      “Because we're losing a lot of money. A half of day of business is just gone,” says Brown.

      Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick agrees with Brown.

        “Incredibly frustrating to have people go through this inconvenience for what now seems like to be a prank and I will juts tell people that we're going to examine any camera angle that we can get,” says Myrick. “Thankfully banks typically have great cameras so we're going to make sure that we do everything in our power to find out who did this and who caused this disruption.”

       Vincent Monticello, acting Chief from the Ithaca Police Department says investigators will use all resources available to find out who left the package.

       “The box has been collected as evidence and we're processing that,” says Monticello. “We want to find out who's responsible for this because it did create a big inconvenience to the business owners.”

      “This has been a learning experience for us, evacuating the commons and closing it down getting the word out to all the businesses. This has showed us how we can do it better, how we can do this kind of thing faster. So we're going to go to work and improve what we can,” says Myrick.

      Police are asking anyone who may have information about the incident to call the Ithaca Police department at (607) 272-9973.