FBI investigating Carmike threats; theater chain says suspect identified

tadams@ledger-enquirer.comAugust 23, 2012 

The Federal Bureau of Investigation said today it is continuing its investigation into bomb threats phoned into Carmike Cinemas' corporate headquarters last Thursday.

However, Columbus-based Carmike, in a short statement, said the FBI has identified a individual in the case it believes "is no longer a threat." It did not say if the suspect has been arrested.

"While the FBI advances it's criminal investigation into the threats directed at various Carmike Cinemas, it remains a pending investigation," Atlanta FBI Special Agent Stephen Emmett said in an emailed statement. "No further details regarding this matter are available at this time."

Law enforcement scrambled last Friday to find the person who left the threatening messages the night before at Carmike. The incident prompted searches by authorities at a number of Carmike theaters across the country, including those in Columbus.

In an unrelated incident, a Columbus man, Joshua Vardeman, was arrested late last Thursday after being searched at the Carmike 15 theater at Columbus Park Crossing, with an off-duty police officer finding a pistol in his laptop computer bag.

Vardeman, 23, faces three misdemeanor charges of carrying a concealed weapon, carrying a pistol without a license and carrying a deadly weapon into a public gathering. He is now out on bail awaiting a hearing.

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