Fake Bomb Threat Reported at Red Cliffs Mall
The Red Cliffs Mall in St. George was the site of another fake bomb threat through the act of swatting on October 8.
Authorities responded to reports of a bomb threat at the Red Cliffs Mall, with an evacuation order set for employees and patrons of the shopping center.
Once the building was emptied, a bomb squad and K-9 unit from the St. George Police Department began to thoroughly search the mall for any sign of explosives.
A statement from the SGPD said, “Today at approximately 11:05 AM, the general manager of the Red Cliffs Mall received an email stating a bomb had been placed in the mall and in every mall in Utah. Mall security circulated the area, but found nothing suspicious.”
After carefully searching the area, the police deemed the threat to be fake, chalking it up to be a prank call to waste resources from the SGPD.
This act is known as swatting, the action or practice of making a prank call to emergency services in an attempt to bring about the dispatch of a large number of armed police officers to a particular threat.
The SGPD said, “The Washington County Bomb Squad responded along with three bomb dogs, including one from Cedar City, that was donated by Intermountain Health to assist in sweeping the mall for a bomb. The mall was kept closed for approximately an hour after the scheduled open time while this was done. Again nothing was found.”
Some of the evidence backing up the claim of swatting at the mall is another report in Northern Utah of the same nature at the exact same time as the incident in St. George.
The SGPD said, “We have been made aware that several Jewish Centers in northern Utah and others have received similarly worded emails. The Red Cliff Mall has now been reopened. We would like to thank all those involved for their cooperation, especially Intermountain Health Bomb Dog and their handlers.”
Both calls reportedly had the exact same wording on the call, suggesting it was the same person instigating each fake threat.
Employees have since been allowed to re-enter the Red Cliffs Mall, and the shopping center is now open once again to the public.
Faculty and students of Snow Canyon High School faced a similar situation in September when a call was made to the dispatch of St. George threatening the high school.
The SGPD responded by increasing the police presence across many schools in the Washington County School District, but the phone number that made the call was connected with a string of swatting calls.
Despite these incidents being nothing more than a prank call, the SGPD takes these threats seriously, which is why they tend to act first before dismissing it as a prank.