Holly Hill cops: Electronics company employee calls in bomb threat saying she needed a break; 300 evacuated

Breaking News / Reported here 1st

Latisha VesterLatisha Anne Vester, 33, of Daytona Beach, an employee of Metra Electronics in Holly Hill, is being held without bail at the Volusia County Branch Jail on  a felony charge of falsely reporting a bomb threat where she works.


HOLLY HILL -- An employee of Metra Electronics told investigators she called in a bomb threat that forced the evacuation of 300 co-workers there earlier today because she "needed a break."

The bomb threat was called in prior to the day shift and left with the human resources department, which in turn notified police and 300 people were evacuated at 9 a.m., including the caller, identified by police as 33-year-old Latisha Anne Vester, who works in Metra Electronics' paint department.

Police Chief Mark Barker said Vester admitted making the call, saying she "needed a break" from work.

"As far as her explanation -- nothing, and I mean nothing -- surprises me anymore," the Holly Hill police chief told Headline Surfer.

Here is a synopsis of what happened: At approximately 4:30am, a voice mail was left for the Metra Electronics Human Resources Department indicating that a bomb had been placed on the property, 460 Walker St. In turn, managers notified the Holly Hill Police Department. Some 300 employees of the manufacturing plant were evacuated by VOTRAN buses to Holly Hill City Hall and The Market (a civic center at 102 Riverside Drive) where refreshments and an air conditioned environment were provided. Three Explosive Detection K-9s from the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office conducted a complex search of the buildings, grounds and vehicles on the Metra property, a large complex that encompasses a full block and is five blocks away from City Hall.

Holly Hill Police Investigators were able to trace the telephone number from which the threat was received to an employee of Metra Electronics, later identified as Vester.

Vester was assigned to the Meta Electronic's Paint Department and was at work when the voice mail was received. She had been evacuated with other employees when contacted by police. Vester’s cellular telephone and employee identification badge were located at Holly Hill City Hall where she had attempted to discard them prior to an interview with detectives, Barker said.

Vester told detectives that she called in the bomb threat because “she needed a break” from work. Vester is charged with a felony count of falsely reporting a bomb. In addition, at the time of her arrest, Vester was wanted on an out-of-county arrest warrant charging her with felony larceny.

The bomb threat incident required the resources of the Holly Hill Police Department, Holly Hill Fire/Rescue Department, Volusia County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit, VOTRAN bus lines, and Volusia County Central Communications. Traffic in the area was detoured for approximately three hours, Barker said.

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Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet newspaper serving the Daytona Beach-New Smyrna Beach / Sanford-Orlando metropolitan region via HeadlineSurfer.com. Florida's first around-the-clock newspaper was launched April 7, 2008, in New Smyrna Beach, initially as NSBNews.net and VolusiaNews.net. Headline Surfer is a registered trademark of NSB News LLC. Headline Surfer® Publisher Henry Frederick, is recognized as one of Florida's top award-winning cops & courts reporters, who has received more awards for such coverage than any other reporter working in Central Florida. He's the top journalist in the Florida Press Club two years running with seven journalism awards for 15 breaking news and investigative stories, three blogs and top internet site. He's the only reporter to win awards for coverage of the Trayvon Martin slaying as well as the subsequent George Zimmerman murder trial acquittal in Sanford. He's also won state, regional and national journalism awards for his coverage of cops and courts fear 8 1/2 years at the Daytona Beach News-Journal, where he witnessed and reported on the execution of serial killer Aileen Wuornos and covered the civil trial brought by NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt's widow to keep his autopsy files sealed. Before that before he covered cops & courts for Gannett Suburban Newspapers / The Journal News in Westchester and Rockland counties in New York, where he won a highly-coveted Associated Press Award for breaking news. Before launching the 24/7 internet newspaper in 2008, he was an award-winning city editor for the Taunton Daily Gazette, in his native Massachusetts for two years, winning a national investigative award on municipal corruption. The first of Frederick's three books, for which he has secured publishing rights, is called "Creepy Ass Cracker" (840 pages, Xlibris), which will hit bookstores in September. His second book, "Wrestling ReWind," is expected to be published in January 2015. The third book is not yet titled.
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