All clear given after threat at Jewish Center in Maitland

FOX 35 saw bomb sniffing dogs, while the bomb squad methodically searched every classroom, and every storage area at the Jewish Community Center, in Maitland.

The scene was intense because someone called Wednesday morning and said there was a bomb in the pre-school building.

Lieutenant Louis Grindle, with the Maitland Police Department told FOX 35, "The receptionist tried to ask him questions about it. They basically stated there would be some type of bloodshed, and I believe the phone was disconnected at that time."

Some 500 people sheltered in place on lockdown Wednesday. The lockdown was lifted just before 1pm. No bomb was found, but still, parents picking up and dropping off their children were on edge.

Marissa Knight said, "It's scary. I know that the school takes great care of the children, and they are taking all of the precautions necessary. I do feel confident in that."

Tara Huff said, "I just hope that all the kids are OK and all the parents are."

Security on campus was so tight, FOX 35 was told to leave the property.

Andy Brennan, the Community Center's Security Director
did not offer further comment on the bomb threat.

"Not at this time," Brennan said. "We'll release something at the appropriate time."

However, Brennan told FOX 35 the school is working with local and Federal authorities on this latest threat.

This threat was the JCC's third recent bomb threat, according to Maitland Police.

The last time was on January 9th, and again on January 4th. All of those were phoned in by someone with an electronically altered voice.

"We could have the same suspect, or again it could be 1 or two people working together," Lt. Grinle explained. "Right now, I just don't have any more information."

Investigators said somebody also called in bomb threats on Wednesday to a Jewish Center in Miami Beach.

As well as several other jewish centers in Connecticut.

Locally, police said they could all be connected.

"It could be the same person contacting all the institutions at the same time," Lt. Grindle explained. "Same type of threat, just trying to create havoc within the facilities."

Maitland Police confirm to FOX 35 no anti-semetic statements were made in Wednesday morning's call.

Lt. Grindle said it is possible this could become a hate crime, but it is too early to tell right now.


Story from January 4th: Bomb threat reported at 2 Jewish community centers in Orange County.