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December 20, 2012

Arrest made following Wilshire Boulevard Temple bomb scare, vandalism

http://www.jewishjournal.com/los_angeles/article/arrest_made_following_wilshire_boulevard_temple_bomb_scare_vandalism

LAPD BatCat next to an LAPD squad car which in under investigation following a bomb scare early this morning. Photo by Ryan Smith

LAPD BatCat next to an LAPD squad car which in under investigation following a bomb scare early this morning. Photo by Ryan Smith

A naturalized citizen from South Korea was arraigned today on charges related to the numerous bomb threats made Dec. 18 against Wilshire Boulevard Temple (WBT) in Koreatown and a police squad car parked adjacent to its campus, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

Wan Ryung Song, also known as Patrick Song, 46, was charged with four counts of making a bomb threat in addition to one count of vandalism at a house of worship and one count of a hate crime. Investigators believe that he was responsible for vandalizing the synagogue with a swastika and anti-Semitic rant on Dec. 6, a police statement says.

No evidence was found of any explosives despite phone calls reporting multiple bomb threats. Detectives determined that the calls were made from a pay phone at a nearby health spa where Song was a registered member.

[RELATED: Wilshire Boulevard Temple target of bomb threats]

The first threatening call was received by police at about 2 a.m., and it indicated that there was an explosive device on the grounds of WBT, one of the largest synagogues in Los Angeles. A search turned up no suspicious devices.

About six hours later, two more calls self-reported that a device had been planted in a police vehicle nearby, which authorities identified on Harvard Boulevard north of Wilshire Boulevard. That led to a visit from the bomb squad, robotic devices, canine units, the BatCat (a large forklift-like device) and huge headaches for the surrounding neighborhood as nearby streets were closed. Ultimately, no explosive devices were found.

Police said that they were aided in the investigation by the synagogue.

“Officers responded and met with security officers from the temple who provided information of a suspicious individual, who ‘appeared to be hiding and secreting himself behind the police vehicle’ that had been parked in the area of Harvard Ave north of Wilshire Boulevard,” the police statement says.

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