Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Diana Held Hostage

My friend, Diana, was held hostage yesterday when a bomb threat was called into the 30th Avenue Dillons Store. She had gone in to send flowers and was caught, along with about 100 other people, in the store while a man on the phone made demands to have money wired to a European bank account. There were no injuries during the episode.

Police believe someone may have tapped into the store's security system. Diana said it was obvious the caller knew what was happening in the store. He said if anyone left the store he would blow it up.

The caller demanded people take their clothes off, and that the manager's fingers be chopped off for every hour his demands for money were not met. She said the employees were behind the service desk area and the men turned their backs when the women took their clothes off. Some customers disrobed and some didn't. Diana did not. She said she was on the east end of the store, near the office, and not as close to the service desk as some of them. She was originally sitting on a chair, but they forcefully demanded everyone get on the floor, which was difficult for some of the customers.

Diana said some of the older people in the store were complaining they couldn't breathe and that they were having chest pains. She said one gentleman with Parkinson's was tremoring very badly.

When they decided to start letting people leave, two at a time, Diana said some people didn't want to leave without their cell phones, which had been collected from all of them. Diana couldn't believe people were worried about their phones, but they were.

They were taken to the liquor store next door, that's part of the complex, where there were counselors available. All the customers and employees were also suspects because they were trying to determine if it was someone in the store who was in on it.

No bombs were found. No one was injured.

I called Diana this morning just to say hello. I had no idea she had been in Dillons. Needless to say, it's quite the developing story.

In fact, there is a current bomb scare at the Main Street Dillons. They had one yesterday as well, but it was quickly determined to be false. I guess this is the latest trend across the country. Seems like people could find better things to do than call in bomb threats.

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