LAGUNA HILLS, Calif.— Investigators from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department are still looking for the man responsible for making a fake bomb threat at Saddleback Medical Center in Laguna Hills the afternoon of Dec. 26.
Deputies responded to the hospital at around 3:40 p.m. after a man called 911 and claimed to be at the hospital with a bomb, prompting the sheriff’s and fire departments to set up a perimeter to clear the area.
After searching on-site for approximately two hours, investigators were able to confirm that the reported bomb threat was false, as nothing suspicious inside or around the hospital was found.
The sheriff’s department said the following day they are still seeking the man who made the call.
“We have not located the individual. We never located any suspicious or anything at the hospital, but our investigators were able to determine there’s a high probability that he was probably not at the location when the phone call was made,” Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Todd Hylton told The Epoch Times.
He said the call likely came from a cell phone.
“The 911 call is a big piece of evidence, and we’re going to be following up on that lead to try to determine a motive and to identify a suspect,” he added.
The police believe the call to be a “swatting” call, where an individual purposely misinforms a police department of a fake emergency in order to generate a large police response at a particular location.
During the incident, some people chose to voluntarily evacuate though the department did not order a building-wide evacuation, Hylton said.