***UPDATE – Deputies arrested a 17-year-old Temple City High School junior late Friday afternoon in connection with the bomb threats against Temple City High School and Longden Elementary School on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.
TEMPLE CITY — A phoned-in bomb threat prompted the cancellation of classes at Temple City High School early Friday in the third such incident in the city in three days, officials said. A search of the campus yielded nothing suspicious.
Only a handful of school employees were on campus when the phone call was placed via 9-1-1 about 6:40 a.m., prior to the start of the school day, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Mike Gil said.
“Luckily, the students weren’t there,” Gil said.
Classes were cancelled for the day as deputies embarked on a search of the campus, 9501 Lemon Avenue, sheriff’s officials said.
Deputies, some carrying rifles, brought bomb-sniffing dogs to the campus to help with a search. Streets surrounding the high school were shut down for about three hours as the investigation and campus search continued.
Deputies concluded their search and announced nothing troublesome had been found about 9:50 a.m., Lt. Loy McBride said.
The call, initially believed to have come from a cell phone, was made with a male voice, Gil said. He described it as similar to two others received by authorities in Temple City on Thursday morning and Wednesday night.
Sheriff’s officials said it was too early to say for certain whether the threats were connected or placed by the same person, however detectives were looking into the possibility of a connection.
The caller stated that three bombs had been placed on the Temple City High School campus, McBride said.
McBride declined to discuss the specifics of the ongoing investigation or the efforts to track down the caller.
“We’ve working on some possible leads,” he said.
Authorities Wednesday evacuated nearby Longden Elementary School just before the start of the school day after a bomb threat was phoned in to both the school and 9-1-1 shortly before 8 a.m., Sgt. Michael Martinez said.
Between 300 and 400 students who had already arrived at the campus were evacuated to a nearby Middle School as deputies searched the campus, ultimately finding nothing suspicious.
In that case, a male caller stated in the threats that two bombs had been placed on the elemtary school campus, Martinez said.
Deputies responded to another bomb threat at Temple City High School about 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, Martinez said. The school, which was closed and vacant at the time, was searched by deputies. Nothing out of the ordinary was discovered.
Friday’s call was received via 9-1-1 at the sheriff’s Temple Station, which generally indicated the call was placed from within the station’s jurisdiction, though there are exceptions, Gil said.
The series of bomb threats comes on the heels of another series of six calls threatening shootings at hospitals, schools and a mall in the San Gabriel Valley. Gerardo Cortez, 26, of Monrovia, was arrested Sept. 17 by a multi-agency task force in connection with the string of threats, which took place between Sept. 9 and 12.
Cortez was previously convicted and served eight months of a 16-month jail sentence for making a false bomb threats in connection with a series of bomb threats in Pasadena in October of last year. After taking a plea deal and receiving sentencing under A.B. 109 guidelines, Cortez was released from jail in late June. He remained behind bars Friday in lieu of $300,000 bail pending an Oct. 4 arraignment in West Covina Superior Court.