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In Section B

HD: Bomb hoax nets ransom

(ran PW edition)

A Bob Evans Restaurant in Port Richey was the victim of a bogus bomb threat Sunday.

"There is a bomb inside the briefcase behind the front counter," the man on the phone told an employee at the restaurant at 9115 U.S. 19 about 1:30 p.m. Sunday. "If you do as we say, we won't detonate it."

It was the third time in recent months that a bomb threat was used to extort money from a Tampa Bay-area restaurant.

After five tense hours in which the store's employees watched from a safe distance, the Hillsborough County Bomb Squad revealed the "bomb" to be a concrete brick.

Store employees, however, followed the extortionist's convoluted instructions. They placed an undisclosed amount of money in a Times newspaper box at the corner of Embassy Boulevard and Crabtree Lane.

When Pasco sheriff's deputies searched the box minutes later, the money was gone.

More details, PAGE 1B