Santa Clarita Valley Detectives Arrest Suspect For Alleged Online Threats
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station detectives are investigating a series of threats made online against Santa Clarita Valley residents, including a threat made against Valencia High School.
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A 15-year-old Golden Valley High School student was arrested around 9 a.m. in connection with the threats, according to a Sheriff's Station official.
The threats, which posted through the Instagram account “Yaboyplank,” showed pictures of guns and said: “TO THE PEOPLE OF THE SCV AREA. THERE WILL BE A HUGE (expletive) SHOOTING SOON... ” and went on to say the threat was aimed at high school students.”
A representative of the Detectives Bureau for the Sheriff’s Station said the photos appeared to be stock Internet footage and “there is not evidence the suspect has any access to these guns,” according to Lt. Brenda Cambra of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station.
“Detectives immediately responded to the station to begin working this investigation,” Cambra said. “A police report for Criminal Threats was written. At least twenty-five additional calls from residents alerting us to this post were received during the night.”
Deputies assigned to the Santa Clarita Valley Station received a phone call from a woman reporting that threatening posts had been made on Instagram around 10 p.m. Saturday.
The Instagram account used a photo of a Valencia High School in Texas to threaten a shooting in the Santa Clarita Valley in another post.
“Detectives immediately responded to the station to begin working this investigation,” the statement from Cambra read.
The Hart district released a statement to parents Sunday morning saying it "takes threats of this nature very seriously. We are working with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.
"Extra precaution is being taken to ensure the safety of our students and staff on all of our campuses while it's being investigated," the statement read.
There have been no cancellation of classes, according to the statement.
This case is currently under investigation.
If you have any information as to who posted these threats, Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station officials ask you call 661-255-1121 or if you would like to remain anonymous, please call the LA Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.
Do you have a news tip? Call us at (661) 298-1220, or drop us a line at email@example.com.
Update 1:37 p.m. August 17, 2014
"Detectives recovered information that shows the suspect acted alone and no actual plan to assault any students or school had been formulated. No firearms were found at the residence, and the suspect’s family does not own any firearms," according to a press release sent out by the Santa Clarita Sheriff's station officials. "Based on statements made by the suspect, it appears he made these posts to get a reaction from friends on social media, realizing too late that the threats were being taken seriously."
The suspect was taken into custody and will be released into the custody of the Los Angeles County Probation Department, officials said.
Update 6:20 p.m. August 17, 2014
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station and William S. Hart District officials held a press conference Sunday regarding the Instagram Criminal Threat made Sautrday night.
Several people from around the valley, many parents of teens in the Hart District attended the conference.
"Currently the juvenile is in custody with the LA County Probation Department and this case will be presented to the LA County District Attorney’s Office," said Deputy Josh Dubin of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station. "We take this type of situation and threats like this very, very seriously."
Officials said the juvenile allegedly "no intention of carrying out these threats."
While the name of the 15-year-old student is not being released, he is being detained on felony threat charges, Dubin said.
"We have been working with the Sheriff’s Department for many years in this area, we have sercure campuses," said Gail Pinsker, public information officer for the William S. Hart School District. "In partnership, we have been assured that there will be an extra presence on our campuses tomorrow as well as we also do, on a daily basis, have school resource officers on our campus."
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station officials plan to have extra deputies at all of the 16 junior high and high schools in the valley, but mainly focusing on the high schools.
"We will prosecute, there will be consequences for any student who pulls a prank like this," Pinsker said.
Counselors at all of the schools and SCV Youth Project officials will be available for students to speak with on campus.
"We want (students) to go to school. we will be there, we will have an extra presence and there is no reason why (students) shouldn’t be there," said Lt. John Roberts of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station.
Jessica Boyer contributed to this report.