Officers boost movie theater patrols after social media threat

VIDEO: Officers boost movie theater patrols after social media threat
Photo Source: Viewer submitted
Photo Source: Viewer submitted

CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Charleston County deputies say they will increase patrols in and around movie theaters after becoming aware of posts circulating on social media that appear to imply a threat in the area over the weekend.

The sheriff's office was made aware of the threat on Thursday, according to Maj. Eric Watson.

"We don't have any credible information that would suggest anything is planned or will occur," Watson said in a statement. However, the sheriff's office and other law enforcement agencies including North Charleston Police, Mount Pleasant Police, Charleston Police, SLED and the FBI will work together to prevent any threats.

One of the posts appears to be a status message that begins, "ATTENTION CHARLESTONIANS" and claims the poster visited the movies with her sister and saw a man she considered suspicious. The poster then states her concerns were heightened after seeing a post she claims she found on Instagram.

The second post, purportedly from Instagram, appears to depict a text message exchange between two unidentified people.

The first texts, "If you're in the Charleston area this weekend and are thinking of going to the movies #DONT... (sic)"

When the other person in the exchange asks why, the original text message user responds, "Can't really go into details right now...stay out of largely populated areas."

The text messages are not dated and it's not even clear whether the "Charleston" being referred to is specifically Charleston, South Carolina.This is not the first time threats have been circulated on social media. In July, a month after the deadly shooting at Mother Emanuel AME Church, Charleston County Sheriff Al Cannon held a press conference to address threats of violence and other unrest.  Surrounded by representatives of the Charleston, North Charleston and Mount Pleasant Police Departments will attend, as well as agents from the State Law Enforcement Division and the FBI, the sheriff said they were working together to investigate any credible threat of violence and asked for the community's assistance to report anything that seemed suspicious.

Anyone who sees anything suspicious should immediately contact Charleston County Consolidated Dispatch at (843) 743-7200.

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