Eatontown Man Charged With Bomb Threat Spree
An Eatontown 21-year-old is accused of placing the string of bomb threats that plagued store owners in a West Long Branch shopping center this past Sunday and Monday.
Kristopher L. Thomas of Stony Hill Apartments faces four counts of creating a false public alarm for the threats that were reported at three stores in The Consumer Center on Route 36. Monmouth County investigators say he had a history at all three.
West Long Branch police evacuated the Buy Buy Baby shop Sunday afternoon after getting a 911 call. It drew response from the Monmouth County Sheriff's Office, the county's mobile command center in Long Branch, and the West Long Branch Fire, First Aid and Emergency Management teams.
On Monday, say investigators, the store received a second threat and the evacuation scenario was run once more before it was determined that the call was baseless. Store operators got another call less than four hours later.
Before authorities had a chance to pack up and clear out, the Chuck E. Cheese and Taco Bell restaurants in the mall received threats as well. Thomas was arrested later in the day and placed in the Monmouth County Correctional Insitution in Freehold, with bail set at $100,000.
Investigators say Thomas worked at Chuck E. Cheese at the time the calls were placed, and formerly worked at Taco Bell and Buy Buy Baby. If convicted on all four counts, he risks three to five years in prison for each.
Yet another threat received at Buy Buy Baby on February 10 is still under investigation.