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Minor threatens to bomb Princeton in AOL message

An America Online chat room became an arena for a bomb threat appearing to target the University over break.

A security officer for AOL notified the Princeton Borough Police of the threat, which occurred at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 19 and was reported at 4 a.m. the following day, according to a department press release.

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The message posted in the chat room stated: "Princeton sucks an (sic) I am setting off a pipe bomb in one of the lockers on Monday so if you don't want me to set the pipe bomb off the (sic) you better send me 100,000 dollars by Sunday. P.S. you'll have to find me to give me the money I am not going to find you to get the money."

University Public Safety Crime Prevention Specialist Barry Weiser said Public Safety reported to Dillon Gym and discussed whether they should perform a locker-to-locker search with the Borough Police.

Investigation of the threat revealed that the message was posted by a 12-year-old boy from Holyoke, Mass., according to the press release. The youth did admit to sending the threat, but could not explain why he had done it. No arrest was made, and no charges were filed, Weiser said.

"Every one of these has a potential for seriousness," he said of bomb threats. However, because the threat did not seem credible, Public Safety did not continue the search and did not treat the situation as an emergency.

Because the message did not specify if it was addressing Princeton University or any town of Princeton, it has not been confirmed that the threat was even aimed at this area, Borough Police Capt. Peter Hanley said.

The incident was turned over to the Holyoke Police Department. The press liaison for the Holyoke police said yesterday that he had never heard of the bomb threat.

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Hanley could not give any additional information regarding the occurrence. "When we deal with a juvenile, the amount of information we can give out is very limited," Hanley said.

Hanley said he suspects that the child was given a stern warning, but no other action was probably taken.

In November, the Wilson School was the target of a bomb threat mailed on a postcard, which warned that an air strike would be launched against Princeton's "School of Law."

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