Bomb threat scam hits East Greenwich
EAST GREENWICH, R.I. —
Bomb sniffing dogs were back in action at another local drug store Tuesday afternoon.
For the second time in as many days a bomb threat scam hit a national chain pharmacy in Rhode Island.
This time, at a Walgreens in a shopping plaza on Division Rd. in East Greenwich.
East Greenwich Police Lt. Stan Cirella told NBC10, "They were called and asked to activate some gift cards over the phone and when the manager refused or hesitated, the threat came over that basically there was a bomb in the building. So we came up to evacuate."
The Walgreens and several neighboring businesses were evacuated as a precaution during the search of the store.
Nothing suspicious was found.
It was basically the same circumstances at a Rite Aid in Barrington Monday night, where police responded to a bomb threat called in with a demand for pre-paid cards.
And there have been a series of such threats made to drug stores across the country.
Rhode Island State Police tell NBC10 to expect more incidents as scammers typically target an area.
Lt. Col. Michael Winquist said State Police troopers now have their FUSION intelligence center researching the string of threats and expect to put out a bulletin to local police and reach out to retailers in the next day or so.
A Walgreens spokesman told NBC10 they take these matters seriously.
From Rite Aid: "While we have no reason to believe these threats are credible, the safety of our associates and customers is our top priority, and we take these threats very seriously.
And Rhode Island based CVS told NBC10 it, too, has had stores around the country targeted by such a scam.
In a statement, CVS spokesman Michael DeAngelis wrote, "When we receive a call of this nature, we immediately contact local police to alert them of the threat and that it is similar to multiple calls we've received throughout the country."
All three pharmacy chains say they are working with authorities.