An RCMP officer and canine enter the Penticton Honda as part of the ongoing bomb threat investigation on Dec.13. The threat was part of an international e-mail hoax. Jordyn Thomson/Western News

Back to work for Penticton businesses impacted by bomb threats

Multiple car dealerships were evacuated as the result of an international e-mail hoax

It’s business as usual today for the Penticton company’s affected by yesterday’s e-mail bomb threats.

Penticton RCMP evacuated the Penticton Hyundai, Penticton Honda and Skaha Ford at about 10 a.m. after the dealerships alerted authorities that they received suspicious emails threatening to bomb the premises. It turns out that a number of businesses across Canada and the US received similar threats in what authorities are now deeming a hoax.

“We were only closed for an hour and a half in the end, so it wasn’t bad at all,” said Julian Smallbone, general manager of Penticton Honda. “Our staff were able to come back in after. We’re a busy dealership and still had customers and service appointments and everything.”

Related: Update: BC RCMP confirm multiple businesses throughout province received email threats

Skaha Ford was closed for about two hours due to the evacuation, said general Brad Jinjoe. He noted that Worksafe BC was actually on-site conducting a spot safety inspection at the time of the evacuation order.

“By the time the RCMP were about halfway through their inspection, it came in that this was happening across Canada and the US, so they realized at that point it was a hoax,” said Jinjoe. “We weren’t very impacted, except for the fact that we were away for a couple hours and the phones weren’t answered so everyone was a little behind. But our business wasn’t even affected when we resumed yesterday afternoon.”

Smallbone and Jinjoe said both dealerships have policies in place for these type of evacuations, which were followed successfully yesterday to ensure employee and customer safety. Both managers say that despite the scare yesterday, business has been steady so far today.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.

Jordyn Thomson | Reporter
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