Police: Pizza box bomb threat at Taco Bell a hoax

Taco Bell at 1414 N. Keowee St. is blocked off Thursday afternoon, Aug. 11, 2016, after someone dropped off a pizza box and claimed a bomb was inside. (Marshall Gorby/Staff)
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Taco Bell at 1414 N. Keowee St. is blocked off Thursday afternoon, Aug. 11, 2016, after someone dropped off a pizza box and claimed a bomb was inside. (Marshall Gorby/Staff)

Suspect left with box, did not steal anything from restaurant

Taco Bell was shut down for three hours Thursday after a man dropped off a Domino’s Pizza box and claimed a bomb was inside.

The bomb threat reported around 3:15 p.m. at the restaurant at 1414 N. Keowee St. was a hoax, and the suspect — described as a white man in his 40s — has not been identified, said Dayton police Sgt. Joseph Setty. The man approached the counter to place an order, but instead set the box on the counter and said there was a bomb inside.

“The employees then immediately fled, ran out the back door and called us,” Setty said. “He didn’t get anything or say anything else after that and then he took the bus and left as well,” the sergeant said of the suspect.

The Dayton Bomb Squad was called to the restaurant, but was not able to find anything. A bomb-sniffing dog from the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office also checked the eatery to make sure there were no incendiary devices.

Police are reviewing surveillance video and evidence technicians also checked for fingerprints to help identify the suspect. Once he is caught, he likely faces inducing panic charges, Setty said.

Although the threat was a hoax, Setty said police made certain the building was evacuated and taped off the area.

“With any kind of threat like that, personal safety is number one,” he said.

Once police gave the all-clear about 6:15 p.m., the Taco Bell resumed service.

FIRST REPORT

A Taco Bell restaurant is evacuated after a man dropped off a Domino’s Pizza box and claimed a bomb was inside.

Police were called around 3:15 p.m. to the fast-food eatery at 1414 N. Keowee St.

Police tape is up around the restaurant and traffic cones also block the entrances to the parking lot.

No injuries are reported and everyone is outside the building.

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