MERIDIAN -- On a day marked by bomb and shooting threats at five southwest Idaho schools, several retail chain stores in Boise and one Twin Falls hospital became targets as well.
The FBI is now investigating the situation.
On Thursday evening, a bomb threat was called into the Target at North Eagle Road and East Chinden Boulevard in Boise. Similar calls also came into the Walmart on East Fairview Avenue and the Kohl's on North Eagle Road in Meridian. The Kohl's and Walmart were both evacuated.
"The caller, who was described as being a male, possibly an adult, in the case of Walmart said that there was a bomb going to go off in the business in about 20 minutes. In the case of Kohl's they said the bomb was going to go off in about 30 minutes," said Meridian Police Lieutenant Scott Colaianni.
Colaianni said those calls appear to be from the same person, but he said it might to be tough to find him or her.
Police say a similar bomb threat was called in to St. Lukes in Twin Falls at approximately 9 p.m. Thursday. A Sergeant with Twin Falls Police says there were no evacuations and the scene was cleared in an hour.
It's unclear if any of these threats are connected with the series of bomb and shooting threats that happened Thursday throughout Boise, Nampa, Kuna, Caldwell, and Twin Falls.
TOUGH TO TRACE
"It's hard to catch people because they'll call from blocked numbers or call the business instead of the dispatch, and different things like that. And so it does tend to be harder to capture them. But we do use all our resources to try and track down who these people are," said Colaianni.
Police say those responsible could be charged with a serious crime.
"If you're caught, this is a felony, whether you're a juvenile or an adult, and it's punishable by up to five years in prison," Colaianni said.
Colaianni said this hurts the stores because they get evacuated and lose business. However, it is also taxing on law enforcement.
TAXING ON LAW ENFORCEMENT
"It takes all these emergency services out of circulation---law enforcement, fire, EMS all have to respond in the event that something happens and it's a true call. And again, that takes those people out of play and they're not available to handle real emergencies. It's very problematic," he said.
Polices say after a number of threatening calls Thursday, they continue to take each one seriously.
"We treat everything like it's real. We don't even go in with the mindset, 'it's just a fake call, it's a fake call.' If you do that, that's how people get hurt, that's how things go wrong," said Colaianni.
Meridian Police had Boise Police bring in a special bomb-sniffing canine, in case they did find a package or a bomb. Police did not find anything in Kohl's or Walmart.