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Teens arrested after bomb threats at D.C. high schools; more threats reported Thursday

Two 16-year-olds were arrested in connection with threats made Wednesday as police said they were investigating several new reports

D.C. police vehicles outside D.C.'s Dunbar High School on Feb. 8. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

D.C. police said two teenagers were arrested after bomb threats at several schools in the District on Wednesday forced the evacuations of hundreds of students and staffers from buildings across the city.

News of the arrests came as the region’s schools endured another wave of threats Thursday, with at least five schools targeted in the District.

D.C. police said Thursday they arrested two 16-year-old males in connection with the incidents on Wednesday. A teen from Southeast Washington was charged with calling in bomb threats at several high schools, police said, and a youth from Northwest was charged with a threat made to Kipp DC College Preparatory. The teenagers’ names were not released, and it was not clear whether they were charged as adults or juveniles.

The arrests were announced as D.C. police investigated a separate set of bomb threats reported Thursday. No bombs or hazardous items were found at any of the schools, which included H.D. Woodson High School, McKinley Technology High School, IDEA Public Charter School, Cesar Chavez Public Charter School and the Cardozo Education Campus.

Similar threats were reported Thursday in Prince George’s County at Suitland, Laurel, Gwynn Park and Crossland high schools, police and school officials said. School security and police were investigating.

“Laurel High School was placed on lockdown as a precaution,” Prince George’s County Public Schools said in a statement. “Students at the other schools remained in their classrooms while the buildings were searched.”

In Northern Virginia, a threat was made by telephone Thursday to “shoot up” Yorktown High School, Arlington police said on Twitter. Officials said students were placed on lockdown and later evacuated. Police said no injuries were reported, and an all-clear was given later in the afternoon. No arrests had been made by Thursday evening as the investigation continued.

On Wednesday, eight D.C. schools, including public high schools and charter schools, received threats. Most of the calls were made between noon and 1 p.m.; two came in after 2 p.m. Police searched school buildings with bomb technicians and dogs trained to smell explosive substances, but nothing dangerous was found.

D.C. police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck said police tied the teen from Southeast “to several incidents” that occurred Wednesday afternoon. He said police have not concluded whether the youth may be connected to a similar threat Tuesday at Dunbar High School during a visit by second gentleman Doug Emhoff, the husband of Vice President Harris.

“The investigation is ongoing as we explore his potential connection to the remaining cases, including the one with the second gentleman,” Sternbeck said.

Sternbeck said all the calls made Wednesday were similar and involved threats that an explosive device would detonate within a specified time frame. Police had previously said the call that came into Dunbar on Tuesday during Emhoff’s visit indicated that people had 10 minutes to leave.

Katie Mettler, Rachel Weiner, Perry Stein and Nicole Asbury contributed to this report.

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