Man makes bomb threat to Norwin, Jeannette schools as diversion for bank robbery, police say

Man makes bomb threat to Norwin, Jeannette schools as diversion for bank robbery, police say

NORTH HUNTINGDON, Pa. — A person who shared a bomb threat against Norwin and Jeannette high schools was arrested Tuesday morning, according to the Norwin School District.

"North Huntingdon Township Police report that the subject of their community investigation has been identified, is in police custody, and is no longer a threat," a message on the Norwin School District's website said.

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A man was arrested at the intersection of Robin Station Road and Clay Pike. The road was closed while a bomb squad searched a car.

According to police, a man walked into the Bob Evans restaurant on Route 30 in North Huntingdon Township shortly after 9 a.m. He laid a note on the counter that said there was an active shooter threat and multiple bombs at Norwin and Jeannette high schools. Police responded to the restaurant and immediately notified the schools.

Officers at Bob Evans were able to get a picture of the man who passed the note. He was seen leaving in a black Dodge Charger. The license plate was registered to a KIA from Robbins Station Road. When police arrived at the address, they found the plate had been stolen.


Another officer heading to the address on Robbins Station Road noticed a Charger matching the description. The officer stopped the car and found it had the stolen license plate. The man was identified as Luke Joseph Dell, 35, from Beavercreek, Ohio. Dell admitted to police that he allegedly passed the note as a ruse so that he could rob a nearby bank.

Police said Dell looked much different from how he had looked when they first spotted him. They said he was wearing an elaborate mask that made him look twice his age.

"The mask was a very high-quality mask and made him look like he’s in his 60s or 70s when, in fact, he was a 35-year-old male," North Huntingdon Police Chief Robert Rizzo.

The incident prompted a modified lockdown at all schools in the Norwin School District.

Students at Norwin High School were dismissed at 11 a.m., and police bomb detection K-9s searched the building as a precaution, the district said. No issues were found. All normal after-school activities will take place as normal for Norwin students.

Parents who have students at other schools in the Norwin School District were able to pick up their children starting at 11:30 a.m., the district said.

Jeannette Junior/Senior High School also decided to dismiss students early.