A bomb threat tied up Ceres police and fire resources and disrupted the routine of Sinclear Elementary School students, staff and parents yesterday as the campus was evacuated and checked for explosive devices.
Although nothing was found, the incident shook students and frightened parents in what turned out to be a hoax or act of revenge.
At around 11:30 a.m. someone posed the threat to the school via a cell phone call which was answered by CHP dispatch and relayed to Ceres 9-1-1 dispatchers, prompting a flurry of activity to lead students out of classrooms and bussed to nearby Central Valley High School where parents were asked to pick them up. Ceres Police and school district officials decided to remove the students and close the campus "out of an overabundance of caution" to the threat. The Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department bomb squad was called in to assist in a sweep of the campus that took hours to complete.
The threat also resulted in the closure of Morgan Road between Aristocrat and Hackett Road and Hackett was closed for westbound traffic at Morgan Road.
Ceres Police Chief Brent Smith expressed dismay that anyone would phone in a bomb threat and tie up resources. He said he hoped the call could be traced and have the offender arrested.
"We have our entire day shift out there, our detective units responded, our admin responded, we just called our swing shifts in early and the fire department is helping us as well as are our volunteers and code enforcement officer and traffic (unit)," said Chief Smith yesterday afternoon. "Every body."