Kilgore auto dealership hit with hoax bomb threat demanding $20K in bitcoin

Kilgore auto dealership hit with hoax bomb threat demanding $20K in bitcoin
All Star Kilgore Ford was hit by a hoax bomb threat Thursday. (Source: Paul Rowand)

KILGORE, TX (KLTV) - A Kilgore auto dealership got hit with a hoax bomb threat that demanded a payment of $20,000 in bitcoin late Thursday morning.

“We pretty much knew it was a hoax as soon as we saw the e-mail,” said Paul Rowand, the sales manager for All Star Kilgore Ford.

Rowand said that the e-mail was sent to Jeremy Morgan, the dealership’s finance manager Thursday. The e-mail said there was a bomb in the building and that it would go off unless the dealership paid $20,000 in bitcoin, which is a digital currency.

Lt. Johnathan Gage with the Kilgore Police Department said they were notified a little after 1 p.m. Thursday. Three detectives and two officers responded to the scene. Gage said KPD officers interviewed the people involved and took a look at the e-mail.

Law enforcement then contacted the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives about the incident. After they chatted with ATF officials, Kilgore PD investigators determined that it was some type of false threat and a scam, Gage said. he added it was one e-mail in a group that was sent to various places in an attempt to get them to pay.

Gage said the management at All Star Ford Kilgore did a walk-through of the business to make sure there was nothing suspicious, and they determined there was no further threat.

The auto dealership wasn’t evacuated or closed, Gage said.

Rowand said that police told them similar incidents have been happening “all over the place.”

Similar incidents occurred all over the United States Thursday.

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