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16-year-old arrested for bomb threats at Highland Park High School

Highland Park High School
Someone is sending threatening text messages to students at Highland Park High School.  Photo courtesy Town of Highland Park
Highland Park High School
Law enforcement authorities have had an increased presence on campus as a result of the threats. Reader submitted photo

University Park Police arrested a 16-year-old Highland Park High School student for a rash of false threats against the campus. The student's name is not being released because he is a minor. The teen has reportedly been charged with 17 felony counts of making a terroristic threat. 

The campus has been rocked by repeated threats of violence since January, including four bomb threats in the form of letters and a host of threatening texts and emails. Classes were canceled twice to allow the bomb squad to comb the grounds. On March 1, Crimestoppers announced a $10,000 reward for information on the crimes. It was eventually upped to $30,000. Capt. Leon Holman says the crime was solved due to "good investigative work" and not an anonymous tip. 

In previous interviews with CultureMap, Holman had said the person responsible for the threats would be charged with the felony of making "a terroristic threat"and not the lesser crime of "making a false threat."

"The measures taken by the suspect to completely mask the identity of electronic messages made this investigation more challenging, but with the assistance of cyber crime experts, our investigators were able to develop conclusive leads," Capt. Leon Holman said in a statement

In an email to parents and students, HPHS superintendent Dawson Orr expressed relief. 

"This is a very complicated case, and we appreciate the thorough work of law enforcement officials in tracking down these threats," Orr said. "We know that this has been a stressful time for everyone involved, and we appreciate all the support we've received. The matter is now in the capable hands of the police and prosecutors." 

Holman thanked the Dallas office of the FBI, the United States Secret Service and the Highland Park Department of Public Safety for helping to solve the crime. 

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