ALTON - An East Alton man was charged by the Madison County State’s Attorney’s Office today with Felony Disorderly Conduct for knowingly transmitting a false alarm that a bomb was concealed in Home Depot located in Alton, Illinois, on three separate occasions.
On Tuesday, February 16, 2016 the Alton Police Department received a message that a bomb was hidden in the Alton Home Depot and would detonate at a designated time that morning. As a result, the store was closed and evacuated until it was later determined to be a false alarm.
A second threat was received by the Alton Police Department and KTVI St. Louis (FOX2 News) on Saturday, April 2, 2016. The message was very similar in content and structure to that of the message received in February. Patrol Officers immediately responded and quickly determined the threat was false and there was no interruption to the business.
Two days later, on Monday, April 4, 2016, yet another threat was received. On this occasion, the threat was received by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Home Depot and KTVI St. Louis. Again, the threat was similar in content, structure and method of delivery to the two previous messages. Patrol Officers again responded, closed and evacuated the store, and then awaited the arrival of the Secretary of State (SOS) Bomb Squad. The SOS Bomb Squad cleared the building and business was resumed as usual.
Alton Police Detectives worked tirelessly to identify the creator of the messages to ensure all employees of Home Depot and Alton citizens were able to enter the store knowing they were safe.
“We take any threat very seriously and I am proud of the efforts by all the detectives involved in this investigation. Specifically, Detective Joseph Splittorff, was instrumental in the successful conclusion of this case. Detective Splittorff utilized his extensive computer knowledge and expertise to find and follow many leads that allowed the team to then work together to get this solved,” said Alton Chief of Police, Jason “Jake” Simmons.
As a result of the investigation, Jeremy R. Colwell, 33 of East Alton, was charged with three counts of Disorderly Conduct – False Report of a Bomb. Bail was set at $90,000 by the Honorable Judge Hightower. Colwell is currently in custody at the Alton Jail.
All charges, as well as the statements made herein, are based upon probable cause. The defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.