Multiple businesses in Rutland were evacuated and a main street closed at 11 a.m. Friday after a bomb threat was received by the Interior Savings Credit Union branch on Rutland Road South.
"Apparently, an unknown man called the branch and threatened to detonate a bomb that was somewhere inside the building," said RCMP Const. Kris Clark.
A police service dog, trained in the detection of explosives, was called in to search the building for explosive materials. However, "after considerable effort searching inside and out, no trace of explosives were found," said Clark.
Three hours after the threat was received, the building was deemed safe and the road was reopened. If anything had been found, the bomb disposal squad in Vancouver was on standby. An ambulance and a fire truck were stationed nearby throughout.
The threat to the credit union was vague, but due to the potential public risk, the area was evacuated, Clark told reporters at the scene.
Gene Creelman, vice-president of marketing and communications with Interior Savings, said the Rutland branch was only open for 90 minutes before the evacuation and a "business contingency process" kicked in.
Since it was close to the lunch hour, all staff went to a nearby restaurant for lunch. When the evacuation went into the afternoon, the branch manager decided to close for the rest of the day. The branch is normally open until 5:30 p.m. on Fridays. Creelman has never heard of a bomb threat closing a branch before.
The Salvation Army's Community Life Centre and Thrift Store were also closed by the evacuation.
Police are now focusing their investigation toward identifying the caller, said Clark. Anyone with any information is asked to call the Kelowna RCMP at 250-762-3300 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477. You can also leave a tip online at crimestoppers.net or by text at CRIMES (274637) ktown.