There have been four bomb threats in the Daytona Beach area in as many days, but fortunately, each threat has proven to be a false alarm.
The most recent was reported around 8:30 Tuesday morning, when workers at an Extended Stay Hotel near the Volusia Mall found a letter suggesting the place was going to "blow up." It was found in a room that is presently under construction.
"They found the note, said that a bomb was going to go off at 9:30, and they even had the date the bomb was going to go off," said Daytona Beach Police Department spokesman Jimmie Flynt.
The dozen or so people at the hotel were asked to evacuate the building. Nothing was found.
A short while later, just before 11 a.m. in Daytona Beach Shores, State Road A1A was closed near Grant Drive for about an hour when a woman flagged down police to tell them that she discovered a suspicious-looking duffle bag outside a psychic shop.
A K-9 unit was called out to assist, before police determined that there were no explosives in the bag, but rather a bible.
Tuesday's incidents were the latest in a string of pranks and false threats.
On Monday, an envelope covered in a powdery substance was sent to a judge at the James Foxman Justice Center. Though the substance was deemed to be safe, it caused quite a scare. Also on Monday, someone had called in a similar bomb threat to the Raymond James building, and again, there was no real threat. This follows threats made on Saturday at two different grocery stores by a man demanding that money be wired to London.
None of these threats have been credible, but police say they can't take any chances, in light of the recent bombings in Boston and the uncovering of an alleged terror plot to attack a passenger train in Canada. While police and fire officials say these false alarms can be frustrating, they say they simply have to take each call seriously.
"This is, I guess, this is the new normal," said Daytona Beach Shores Police Chief Stephan Dembinsky. "It's very, very upsetting to us to have to spend these types of resources, but it's a necessary evil."
If you have any information about the recent bomb threats or the suspicious envelope that was delivered to the James Foxman Justice Center, police ask that you contact the Daytona Beach Police at 386-323-3569, the Volusia County Sheriff's Office at 386-860-7030, or Crime Stoppers of Northeast Florida, toll-free, at 888-277-TIPS (8477).