Police and U.S. Postal officials are investigating several letters sent to Carroll County department stores threatening a shooting incident, authorities said.
The Boscov's, Wal-Mart and Target stores in Westminster, as well as Wal-Mart stores in Eldersburg and Hampstead, each received a letter Monday that contained similar threats, said Westminster City Police.
As of yesterday, investigators had no more information on the letters or who might have sent them, said Capt. Pete Dantuono of the Westminster police.
A store manager at Boscov's, who asked that his name not be used, said, "Absolutely, we're taking it seriously. We've taken measures within the store to make sure we're doing everything we can to ensure the safety of the customers and employees, and make sure the employees know what to do."
Target issued a statement yesterday from its Minneapolis headquarters.
"We are partnering with law enforcement and proceeding in accordance with their recommendations," Michael Krueger, a spokesman, said in the statement. "Every Target store employs a multilayer security approach, including staffing and technology, at all times."
Ashley Hardie, a spokeswoman for Wal-Mart's corporate headquarters in Bentonville, Ark., said the company takes all threats seriously for the safety of its employees and customers.
Westminster police said that a Target store in Germantown also received a similar letter that is being investigated by Montgomery County police.
Maryland State Police also are taking part in the investigation.
Anyone with any information about the letters is asked to call Westminster police at 410-848-4646, Maryland State Police at 410-386-3000, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service at 877-876-2455, or the confidential Tips Line at 410-857-TIPS.