Few arrests made in bomb scares against schools

Posted at 9:57 PM, Mar 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-10 06:36:12-05

For the third day in a row, students at West Allis Central High School were evacuated Wednesday after a bomb threat was called in.

The I-Team discovered more than a dozen bomb threats have disrupted classrooms across our region since the beginning of the school year.

"It's not something that you joke around with in this day and age," West Allis District 4 Alderman Tom Lajsic said. "I think it's absolutely terrible that someone would do something like this and I know when they are caught, they will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."

The school district made the decision to cancel classes Wednesday and Thursday as a result of this latest threat.

"Safety comes first when you're dealing with the lives of young people," Superintendent Marty Lexmond said. "It's unfortunate these are such wild interruptions but the first decision we make revolves around student safety."

Every bomb scare and threat made toward a school always prompts a large police response.

"It's certainly something that's costing taxpayers a lot of money," Lajsic said.

According to the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office, each bomb threat costs between $750 and $1,150 in time and resources.

The West Allis Police Department says it costs them roughly $500-$675 each time they respond.

So far, there have been 15 documented bomb scares this school year the I-Team has been able to track, yet only 3 arrests were made.

Alderman Lajsic hopes a fourth arrest will come sooner than later.

"Three days in a row is starting to get a little scary and you wonder whether there's a deranged person sitting in a car down the street who likes to see people evacuate a school," Lajsic said.

Students who left their belongings at school Wednesday can pick them up between 8 and 9 .m. Thursday morning.

Police are offering a $2,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest. If you know anything about this latest string of bomb threats toward West Allis Central High School, call police at 414-302-8000 or Crime Stoppers at 414-476-CASH.

District 4 Alderman Dan Roadt told TODAY'S TMJ4 News over the phone that it's only a matter of time before the person responsible gets caught.

TODAY'S TMJ4 documented the following bomb scares so far this school year:
3-9-16: West Allis Central HS
3-9-16: Wauwatosa West HS
3-8-16: West Allis Central HS
3-7-16: West Allis Central HS
2-23-16: Hartford Union HS; Arrest made and charges filed
2-22-216: Watertown HS
2-8-16: Barton Elementary
2-4-16: West Allis Central HS
1-21-16: Homestead HS; Arrest made and charges filed
12-14-15: Wauwatosa East HS
10-14-15: Stone Bank School
10-6-15: Yorkville Elementary; Arrest made, unknown if charges were filed
10-6-15: Trailside Elementary
10-5-15: John Long Middle School
10-2-15: All Pewaukee Schools

Classes were cancelled in 8 of the above incidents.

Although a bomb threat is a felony, two Oconomowoc legislators recently testified in Madison to support legislation that would make all school threats a felony. Under the current law, threatening a school shooting is classified as a misdemeanor.