Downtown Spring Grove reopens following bomb threat

No bomb found, no arrests made

Authorities in Spring Grove are giving the all-clear after a bomb threat caused some tense moments Friday afternoon.

The Houston County Sheriff’s Department received a call at about 1:30 p.m. Friday saying there was a bomb in a van parked on Main Street. Authorities evacuated businesses in downtown Spring Grove and put all government buildings on lockdown.

A bomb squad was called in from St. Paul to investigate the threat. A robot was used to break a window in the van, and a member of the bomb squad searched the vehicle by hand. Police say no evidence of explosives were found.

Spring Grove resident Brent Newgaard, who owns the van that was in question, says he got a call from his wife at about 3 p.m. Once he arrived downtown, police asked him for the keys to the van, but did not question him further.

Newgaard says he doesn’t know why the person who made the threat used his van description when making the call.

“I was thinking it was likely just a joke,” said Newgaard. “(I) can’t really think of anybody who would want to bomb us, unless they just picked us as a random vehicle.”

Police opened downtown Spring Grove back up at about 8:30 p.m. once they determined there was no continuing threat to the city.

Spring Grove Police Chief Paul Folz says he’s happy with how everyone responded to the threat, coming to the aid of the small two-man department.

“I am totally thrilled,” said Chief Folz. “The downtown evacuated very quick, it was orderly, nobody got hurt. Other than the inconvenience, I’m very pleased at how everybody responded and the cooperation my department got from the outlying agencies.”

No arrests have been made in connection to the threat, and no motive has been announced. Folz says someone did call the authorities sometime this afternoon saying they were involved, but declined to provide more details.

The investigation into the threat is ongoing.

PREVIOUS UPDATE (6:30 p.m.): The Chief of the Spring Grove Police Department says authorities are investigating a bomb threat in the downtown area of the city.

The Houston County Sheriff’s Department received the call of a bomb threat in downtown Spring Grove at about 1:25 p.m. Friday. Authorities evacuated area businesses and put all government buildings on lockdown. They say the threat referenced a bomb being planted in a vehicle.

Spring Grove Police Chief Paul Folz says a bomb squad has been called in from the Twin Cities area to investigate.

Right now traffic is being restricted to downtown Spring Grove, with the area between 1st Street NW and 1st Street SW between 1st Avenue SE and 4th Avenue SW. Police say there is no indication the threat extends beyond that part of the city, and the rest of the city is still open.

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Houston County Sheriff’s Department has locked down all Spring Grove government buildings and has blocked off Main St. due to emergency circumstances.

According to the Houston County Emergency Management Facebook page the Sheriff’s Department advises all to stay out of Spring Grove until further notice.

News 8 is on the scene and will be updating as more information is released.