Planet Fitness gets three bomb threats in three weeks

Warwick Ave. location one of many nationwide targeted


The Planet Fitness on Warwick Ave. has been the target of three bomb threats in three weeks, with the location having to evacuate on March 28, April 4 and April 9.

According to Warwick Police Operations Manager Joel Thomas, all three threats were falsified and no bombs were found on the gym’s premises in each incident.

“We had dogs, cleared the area and went through all the proper channels to make sure that everyone was safe,” Thomas said. “[A week later], we received a very similar email- exact same email address, same sender, similar threat- to the Planet Fitness. That was again vetted, and we’re still trying to identify the original sender of the email.”

The gym in Warwick was one of four in the state that received a threatening call on March 28, with one location in Providence and two in East Providence receiving similar threats. Additionally, Planet Fitnesses in Connecticut, Mississippi, Alaska and Oklahoma were reportedly targets of bomb threats on the same date as well, according to local media in those areas. The second threat, on April 4, occurred on the same date as threats to locations in Connecticut and Michigan. Since that date, threats have been made at Planet Fitnesses in Alabama, Florida, Virginia, Delaware, Maryland and Kansas. The Providence and East Providence locations received threats alongside Warwick’s again on April 9.

Thomas said that the WPD has been working in conjunction with other local police departments that have received the threats, as well as the FBI and the RIAC Police Department, to follow up on the incidents.

The company has been a target of right-wing outrage following an incident that occurred at a Planet Fitness in Fairbanks, Alaska, where Planet Fitness revoked a woman’s membership after taking photos of a transgender woman shaving in the woman’s bathroom without her permission, according to Newsweek.

Thomas said that political reasons likely played a part in the threats. The Warwick Police Department tracked the email address that sent the threats to Africa.

Due to the threat coming from outside of the WPD’s jurisdiction, Thomas said that the WPD would be largely constrained in catching the culprit of those threats, though he said that the FBI and other organizations they were working with would be able to “do a bit more digging” technologically.

Asked whether there was any concern of future threats to the gym, Thomas said that the WPD would be ready to respond should the Warwick Ave. location be targeted in the future.

“There’s always the chance of an additional threat, and we’re always ready for it,” Thomas said. “We can’t control it, but we can respond to it appropriately and if it happens that’s what we intend to do.”

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