Three mobiles used in Canterbury bomb hoaxes
Published: 3rd Nov 2011 05:59:29
A least three pay-as-you-go mobile phones were used by a group that caused a major alert in Canterbury with two bomb hoaxes, police believe.
Trains were halted and parts of the city cleared while police investigated the incidents, on 26 August.
Kent Police said the phones, used by the group to contact each other and the media, were bought in a mobile phone shop in London, on 14 August.
The force has issued CCTV images of three women who bought the phones.
The phones, which were bought in the West End, were not activated until 25 August, in south-east London.
Detectives said the women may have vital information that could help their investigation.
Emergency services were first alerted to the hoaxes when a call was received by Kent Police main control room at 16:20 BST, informing them of a suspect package near the railway line off Old Dover Road.
About an hour later, they were called to a suspected fire in the baby changing area of Marks and Spencer in Whitefriars Shopping Centre, where a second suspect package was found.
The package at Old Dover Road was then confirmed as a hoax device.
A smoke grenade was found to have been activated in Marks and Spencer, which police said was a sophisticated device designed to cause maximum disruption.
Police have previously issued CCTV images of a main seen in the store shortly before the alarm was raised.
The images show a man carrying a blue and black rucksack, a baseball hat and cycling gear
It is believed the hoaxers could be from London or anywhere in the UK.
"This is a very unusual case and we believe those responsible are an organised group who had put serious and meticulous planning into committing these offences," said Det Chief Insp Tom Richards.
"At this time the motive behind the hoaxes is still unclear and no-one has claimed responsibility for them.
"I really want to appeal to the public to help us identify the people in the CCTV images.
"I would especially appeal to the women who were in the phone shop to get in touch."
The investigation is to be featured on Crimewatch on BBC1 at 21:00 GMT on Thursday.
At 03:49:53 in HeadlinesThe oldest former player with Major League Baseball, Conrado "Connie" Marrero, has died in at home in Havana at the age of 102.
At 03:28:13 in WorldIndians are voting in the sixth phase of a marathon general election in which the governing Congress party is fighting the main opposition BJP.
At 03:13:22 in ScotlandThe last avalanche forecast of the latest Sportscotland Avalanche Information Service (SAIS) season has been published.
At 03:06:05 in ScotlandWhen Nicola Sturgeon joined the SNP, pursuing a career in politics was not her agenda.
At 02:56:02 in ScotlandTwo major curling competitions are under way in Dumfries just a couple of months after Scottish competitors scooped medals at the Winter Olympics.
At 02:54:55 in ScotlandParts of a fast reactor control room at Dounreay in Caithness look set to be dismantled and rebuilt at the Science Museum in London.
At 02:47:22 in ScotlandA new service of flights between Edinburgh and Stavanger has begun operation, it has been announced.
At 02:45:05 in ScotlandMajor restrictions on traffic and parking are to be introduced in Glasgow during the summer Commonwealth Games.
At 02:45:05 in WorldThe number of people who have contracted the Ebola virus in Guinea, according to the World Health Organization, has risen to 208 - and 136 of them have died. About half of these cases have been confirmed in a laboratory - earlier cases were not tested.
At 02:42:42 in ScotlandScottish councils have too little power and are too distant from the communities they serve, according to a report.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2011. Three mobiles used in Canterbury bomb hoaxes [Online] (Updated 3rd Nov 2011)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/199125/Three-mobiles-used-in-Canterbury-bomb-hoaxes [Accessed 24th Apr 2014]
News In Other Categories
An independent Scotland would have to fund pension costs of an additional £450 per working-age adult each year, the UK government has claimed.
Cult comic character Frank Sidebottom has inspired a film starring Michael Fassbender, while a documentary and biography are also in the works. Four years after his creator Chris Sievey died, why is Frank's legend growing and who was the man behind the mask?
Eighteen-time US Olympic swimming champion Michael Phelps says concerns about weight gain were behind his decision to return to the sport.
Drinking more than three large glasses of wine can push people over a "tipping point", meaning they consume about 6,300 extra calories in the following 24 hours, a report has said.
The oldest former player with Major League Baseball, Conrado "Connie" Marrero, has died in at home in Havana at the age of 102.
The Irish education minister has proposed a radical shake-up of the further education sector.