Detectives working to find caller who made bomb, ransom threats to Winter Haven store

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. - An investigation is underway after caller phoned in several bomb threats and demanded a ransom to not blow up a Winter Haven Walgreens on Saturday night.

Winter Haven Police spokesperson Jamie Brown said the bomb threats to the Walgreens at 705 1st St. S. were fake and the public was never in danger, but detectives are now working to track down the person who phoned in the threats.

Brown said the first call was received at the store around 7:35 p.m. Saturday, claiming a bomb had been placed somewhere on the property.

"The caller demanded an undisclosed amount of money or the building would be 'turned to ashes' when it was all over," Brown said.

Officers responded and evacuated the store. The caller called two more times and became increasingly agitated in demands.

A Polk County Sheriff's Office bomb dog was brought in and cleared the building around 8:30 p.m. The store continued normal operations after the incident.

"Our first priority was to assure that the public was safe" Winter Haven Police Chief Gary Hester said in a statement Sunday.  "We assured that the store, including the surrounding area, was clear of any device that would cause harm."

Anyone with information about the bomb threats can contact the Winter Haven Police Department at 863-401-2256.

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