Crime - Sacto 911

Carmichael man arrested in connection with Target store bomb threat

A Carmichael man was arrested Saturday, suspected of calling in a bomb threat to a Sacramento Target store that morning, Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department officials report. The threat prompted store officials to evacuate the 1919 Fulton Ave. building temporarily.

Larry Blessett, 38, was booked into the Sacramento County jail on suspicion of making bomb threats, criminal threats and violation of probation, according a department news release. Blessett is being held in lieu of $90,000 bail and is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday in Sacramento Superior Court.

The call came around 10:30 a.m. from a man who said there was a bomb in the store. Target officials made the decision to evacuate customers based on their own protocol, said Sgt. Tony Turnbull, Sheriff’s Department spokesman.

Sheriff’s personnel arrived on the scene shortly after and used K-9s to sweep the store for bombs, finding none.

“It was very nonspecific,” Turnbull said of the phone call. “There was no stated motivation, it was just a bomb threat.”

About 12:45 p.m., customers were permitted to re-enter the store and business as usual resumed, Turnbull said.

The investigation led to a home in the 5300 block of Marconi Avenue, according to the news release. Blessett was found with the cellphone that made the call, officials said.

Evacuation is not always the protocol for bomb scares, Turnbull said. Typically, law enforcement would do an assessment before making that decision.

“This time Target decided to do it, and that’s fine. That’s their protocol,” Turnbull said. “It just depends on the circumstances, the venue.”

Sammy Caiola: 916-321-1636, @SammyCaiola