LANCASTER – Catholic schools in Lancaster and Compton were closed for the day on Monday, Oct. 16, while authorities investigated threats that were later determined not credible, according to various reports.
“A few of our Catholic schools along with other non-Catholic schools received a spam email threatening school safety that is similar to an email distributed to schools and institutions in Europe last week that was found to be not credible and meant to cause disruption, panic and fear,” the Archdiocese of Los Angeles said in a statement Monday.
“The schools that received the email canceled classes for the day out of an abundance of caution while the matter was being investigated,” according to the archdiocese. “The archdiocese is working with law enforcement and there is no evidence of a credible threat at our schools. All Catholic schools in the archdiocese have been asked to follow our usual safety protocols.”
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department increased its patrols around area schools as a result of the threats. The department “is aware of the online threats to schools in LA County,” according to the agency. “LA County sheriff’s stations will conduct patrol checks at local schools throughout the day. We will continue to monitor and provide future information as it becomes available.”
The FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office issued a statement saying it is “working closely with our law enforcement partners in Southern California to share information, and identify and disrupt any threats that may emerge. As always, we take seriously any tips or leads we receive regarding potential threats and investigate them rigorously to determine their credibility.”
The FBI encourages members of the public to remain vigilant and report anything they consider suspicious to law enforcement. In Los Angeles, the FBI can be reached 24 hours a day by calling 310 477-6565.