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Dollar Tree employee calls in false bomb threat on her own store, charges say

A courtroom in the Matheson Courthouse in Salt Lake City is pictured on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

PRICE — A woman who police say made a false bomb threat on her own store now faces criminal charges.

Amy Katherine Ludlow, 41, of Wellington, Carbon County, was charged Friday in 7th District Court with making a false alarm related to a weapon of mass destruction, and emergency reporting abuse, both second-degree felonies; providing a false written statement to police and giving false information to police, both class B misdemeanors.

On Nov. 12, Ludlow was working at Dollar Tree in Price when she called police to report “that a male, who she believed to be Hispanic, had just called Dollar Tree’s landline and said he placed a bomb in the store about 20 minutes prior,” according to charging documents.

The call prompted a large police response. Price police contacted the Carbon County emergency response management director, the Price Fire Department, and Carbon County Ambulance, which all responded to the scene. Police from Wellington and Helper and the Carbon County Sheriff’s Office also responded.

At least three surrounding businesses were also evacuated, the charges state. The Utah County Bomb Squad Canine Detection Unit was called and arrived about two hours later. After going through the building, police did not find any explosives.

Ludlow told police that the man who called “said he placed a bomb in the store because they had not hired him,” according to the charges.

But when police began to look deeper into the case, they discovered that 11 minutes had passed from the time Ludlow texted her boss about the alleged threat and asked what she should do, to the time she actually called police, the charges state. Police say she also provided “inconsistent statements” about when the threatening call was allegedly made.

When police asked to see the caller ID history on the store’s phone, Ludlow “started fumbling with the phone, stating that she was having a difficult time retrieving the call history,” the charges state. Investigators served a subpoena for phone records and discovered the store only received two calls that day, and the last one was received two hours before the alleged bomb threat.

Police then questioned Ludlow again.

“It was during this interview that (Ludlow) disclosed she was under the belief that Dollar Tree was going to be robbed by another employee’s friends, so that is why she called in the bomb threat. She claimed she did not tell law enforcement about this while on scene because she was scared,” the charges state.