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Idaho Falls schools increase security after receiving threatening emails

Message sent to parents from Alturas Academy. | Courtesy Lara Hays Zierke
IDAHO FALLS — Law enforcement are increasing their presence at local schools after a threatening email was received Tuesday.
Alturas Academy, Eagle Rock Middle School and American Heritage Charter School received a message demanding payment in Bitcoin for information regarding a shooter coming to the schools. Law enforcement says there is nothing credible about the emails but they are taking the threats seriously and upping their presence.
“We believe it is likely a scam. But that being said, we are continuing a thorough investigation and taking the threat seriously and increasing police presence at the schools,” Idaho Falls Police spokeswoman Jessica Clements said.
Alturas Academy sent parents and guardians a message shortly before 10 a.m. letting them know the school had received the anonymous email threat and that they were in lockdown.
The message says students are safe and that the threat is likely just a spam email. However, the school and classrooms will remain locked for the rest of the day as the Idaho Falls Police Department investigates.
Eagle Rock Middle School administrators also sent out an email to parents letting them know that the school has gone into lockout.
“Eagle Rock Middle School has been put on a lockout as a precaution after receiving an email threat today. We are working closely with the Idaho Falls Police Department to investigate the matter,” the email says.
Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sgt. Bryan Lovell said they have alerted other schools in the area and have asked that administrators report anything suspicious.
“Hopefully this doesn’t create any unnecessary panic at this point,” Lovell said. “Where it’s asking for Bitcoin, that’s very, very suspicious that there’s not much to the credibility there.”

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