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13-year-old charged in West Middle bomb threat hoax

A 13-year-old girl was charged Tuesday for making a bomb threat to West Middle School that turned out to be a hoax.

The juvenile is charged with making a false statement regarding a destructive device and was released into the custody of her parents pending proceedings before the Department of Juvenile Services, according to Col. Phil Kasten, of the Carroll County Sheriff's Office.

The girl did not present any danger to the school, its students or faculty, according to a sheriff's office news release.

School officials reported finding an anonymous, non-specific written threat to the school building just after 11 a.m. Tuesday, according to the sheriff's office. West Middle was evacuated as a precaution while officers from several area law enforcement agencies inspected the building with explosive detection canine teams. William Winchester Elementary, which sits next to West Middle, was also put on modified lock down.

School officials quickly notified parents of the evacuation and precautionary efforts. After the threat was determined to be a hoax, students returned to class.

The threat was the second bomb threat in Carroll Tuesday.

Around 8:30 a.m., the Carroll County Circuit Court received an anonymous telephone call claiming that an explosive device had been left in one of the court buildings.

Both threats were deemed hoaxes by police.

Carroll County Circuit and District courts both closed Tuesday as the sheriff's office investigated the threat.

The circuit and district court buildings were evacuated and traffic within the immediate area, including Court Street, Greenwood Avenue and the surrounding alleyways was detoured for nearly five hours while law enforcement personnel inspected the buildings.

Law enforcement officers from the Carroll County Sheriff's Office, Maryland State Police, Maryland State Fire Marshal's Office, Westminster Police, Howard County and Baltimore County Sheriff's Office used explosive detection canine teams and x-ray equipment to inspect the buildings, according to a news release from the Sheriff's Office. The threat was found to be a hoax, but not before both courts canceled operations for the day.

Both courts are expected to resume their regular schedule Wednesday.

Anyone with information about these incidents is asked to contact Det. Cpl. Fred Timms of the Carroll County Sheriff's Office at 410-386-2575, or the Anonymous TIPS Hotline at 1-888-399-TIPP.

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