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updated: 7/23/2013 7:05 PM

Libertyville man charged in bomb threat at Vernon Hills festival

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  • James N. Trelford

    James N. Trelford


A Libertyville man who said he was rejected by a woman he met at Vernon Hills Summer Celebration has been charged with threatening to detonate three bombs at the festival.

James N. Trelford, 48, whose last known address was on the 100 block of Second Street in Libertyville, was detained Saturday night minutes after phoning in the threat, police said.

Trelford was charged with disorderly conduct, a Class 3 felony, and remained jailed Tuesday afternoon because he was unable to post the required 10 percent of the $25,000 bond to be released. A court date was set for July 30.

Police said they received a cellphone call at 11:08 p.m. Saturday from a man who claimed to have planted three bombs that would detonate in 15 minutes at the festival site on Lakeview Parkway north of Route 60.

Telecommunicators had logistical information for the caller and were able to pinpoint the location of the call within three minutes to the area of Lakeview Parkway and the EJ&E railroad tracks, according to Kim Christenson of the department's crime prevention unit. Police also were able to identify Trelford from previous contacts, he added.

The festival grounds were not scheduled to close until midnight, but a search was already under way. Based on an assessment of the situation, the grounds were not evacuated, Christenson said.

At 11:20 p.m., 12 minutes after the call was made, police officers found Trelford about a half mile north of the festival grounds. He was walking from a pedestrian trail near the EJ&E railroad tracks into the parking lot of a home improvement store, police said.

Once detained, Trelford told police there were no bombs and that "he was mad because a female that he had met at the Summer Celebration did not like him," according to a statement from police.

"Quick action and teamwork on the part of our telecommunicators and officers kept this from becoming a very complex investigation," Police Chief Mark Fleischhauer said in the statement.

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