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By Eric Heinz

It appears that a bomb threat sent to Stance Socks employees earlier today is part of a nationwide hoax, said Lt. Mike Peters, chief of San Clemente Police Services.

The threat came in Thursday morning, Dec. 13, demanding 20,000 in Bitcoin cryptocurrency or those responsible for the email would detonate an explosive they said had been left inside the building. The email also said mercenary would detonate the device if the payment was not made to a link to an account by the end of the day.

A quick search of bomb threats on Google shows multiple recent incidents of bomb-threat hoaxes across the nation, but every threat is investigated by officers. Stance Stocks employees were evacuated from the headquarters so officers could investigate.

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Peters said the Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) bomb squad had been dispatched to the Stance headquarters off Avenida La Pata around 11:30 a.m. as a precaution to the owner of the business who requested an inspection.

Chaparral Elementary and Harold Ambuehl Elementary Schools were included in the list of businesses and schools that received the hoax emails throughout the country Thursday morning, according to Ryan Burris, Capistrano Unified School District’s (CUSD) spokesperson.

When the two schools received the emails, authorities with the Orange County Sherriff’s Department were notified as well as CUSD’s Safety and Student Services Executive Director Mike Beekman, Burris said.

Peters said Lake Forest and Riverside and other places around the county received the email.

“It’s all across the county and nation,” Peters said, adding that no other business in San Clemente has reported receiving the threat.

OCSD public affairs office put out a statement on Thursday afternoon stating dispatch had received multiple calls regarding the bomb threats. The statement said that sheriff’s deputies were responding to each threat, but they still believe it to be a hoax. That said, OCSD wants people to report anything suspicious to call 714.647.7000 or 911 in an emergency.

Stance personnel has not yet been available for comment.

This is a developing story. More information will be provided when it becomes available.

Article updated at 2:35 p.m. to include statements from OCSD public affairs. 

Shawn Raymundo contributed to this report. 

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