Bartow County Sheriff’s Office and Cartersville Police Department units evacuated the premises and blocked entry to the theater after the Carmike Cinema chain received a bomb threat at the Columbus, Ga., headquarters. The facility was given the all-clear about noon Friday.
Movie theaters in several states were combed for explosives Friday after someone phoned in a bomb threat to the corporate headquarters of Carmike Cinemas, a spokesman for the chain said.
Carmike officials alerted the FBI after discovering the threat in a voicemail message Friday morning, said company spokesman Terrell Mayton. He said the call was placed after hours Thursday by someone claiming to work for a contractor that provides janitorial services to Carmike.
While Mayton wouldn't discuss specifics of the call, Columbus police said the person referenced the Sylvester Stallone movie, "The Expendables 2," that opened Friday.
"It sounded like a disgruntled worker," Columbus police Lt. Bill Rawn told the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer. He said the caller said: "You don't pay us enough. You cut back our hours. We're not expendable. We'll show you we're not expendable."
Mayton said the caller outlined "some specifics to a bomb threat at certain locations," but that he did not know how many theaters were mentioned or in how many states.
Carmike owns 233 theaters in 35 states. Media outlets Friday reported police searching theaters in Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, Kentucky and North Carolina.
No bombs were found. Most theaters were cleared to open before their first show times Friday, Mayton said.
A spokesman for the FBI in Atlanta said the agency is investigating.
Since a July shooting at a movie theater in Colorado killed 12 and injured 58, theaters nationwide have been on alert. Several people since have been arrested for disrupting movies and bringing firearms to theaters.
Two arrested in Snitzer burglary
Four Cartersville police officers responded to a burglary in progress at 301 Industrial Drive, Cartersville Thursday night. A Snitzer security officer said he was watching live video feed of a man inside the company’s warehouse.
The four officers split up to cover the front and rear of the warehouse. As they approached, the officers saw a small, dark sedan pull out from behind the Direct TV building near the warehouse. According to the police report, officers knew from past experience that location is often used to park cars or hide stolen material.
One officer followed the vehicle and conducted a traffic stop on Peeples Valley Road near Old Grassdale Road. He ordered the driver, Dillon Tyler Rice, and the passenger, Kyle Ashley Allen, to put their hands in the air. After they complied, the officer told Rice to turn the car off. As the officer approached he asked to see their identification.
Rice handed over his Georgia driver’s license while Allen was unable to produce any identification. The officer ordered Rice to remove the keys from the ignition and hand them out the window. He then put the keys on top of the car.
After stepping out of the car, Rice was unable to fully explain why the two men were behind the Direct TV building. He said they were lost and turning around. In the police report, the officer found it odd that two men would drive by three police cars if they were lost. Rice continued, saying they were trying to meet up with a woman, but they got lost.
The officer noticed Rice was speaking loudly, as if he wanted Allen to hear everything he was saying.
Allen was then removed from the vehicle and patted down for weapons. During the pat down the officer noticed his clothes were moist and covered with sand. When asked, Allen said he had been working all day.
Allen fit the given description of the man who had been in the warehouse, and the officer told him he was being detained, not arrested, as he put him in the back of his patrol car.
Rice continued to maintain the two of them were lost, and allowed the officer to search the car. The officer found a damp, dirty long sleeve shirt under the passenger seat, a pair of pliers behind the radio face and a black, duster-style trench coat in the trunk, which was also wet and dirty. According to the police report, neither suspect gave a reasonable explanation as to why the clothes were wet and sandy.
Both men were taken into custody for burglary, prowling/loitering and criminal trespass. They were transported to the Cartersville Police Department for an interview with Investigator David Bojczuk.
In a statement issued Friday morning, Cartersville Police Chief Thomas Culpepper issued a statement praising his officers’ work.
“We have had this area under surveillance for several weeks due to multiple burglaries haven taken place at different businesses on Industrial Park Road. I commend our officers for their diligence and quick response, which allowed us to make these arrests,” he said.
— The Associated Press contributed to this report.