Two Kane County courthouse locations -- the Kane County Judicial Center and Kane Branch Court on Randall Road in St. Charles -- were reopened shortly after 11:30 a.m. Wednesday after a "series of bomb threats" prompted authorities to evacuate those locations and branch courts in Elgin and Carpentersville, officials said.
The Elgin branch court reopened shortly after two explosive-sniffing dogs were brought in to check the premises, Elgin Police Sgt. James Bisceglie said. The courthouse was in operation by 1 p.m.
"We are operating under normal procedure, but we are checking bags on the way in for the remainder of the day," Bisceglie said.
Kane County Sheriff Department Lt. Pat Gengler said the St. Charles and Elgin locations were evacuated shortly after at least two bomb threats were called in at about 10 a.m.
Carpentersville Police Commander Timothy Bosshart said the Carpentersville branch court was evacuated after QuadCom received a 9-1-1 call at 9:50 a.m. The male caller "stated there were four bombs in a Kane County courtroom, but did not specify which room," Bosshart said.
Bosshart said authorities searched the branch court several times and a bailiff told everyone outside of the building that their cases would be continued to a future date. The building was cleared after a search by police and canine units, but court is done for the day.
Gengler said he could not specify exactly what was said in the threats because he had not interviewed operators who took the calls.
Gengler said the sheriff's department bomb squad and explosive-sniffing canine units searched the judicial center on Route 38 and Kane Branch Court -- which also contains the circuit court clerk's office -- with negative results.
The units headed to Elgin and then to search other branch court locations as a precaution, he said.
"Our main priority ... was to evacuate the courthouses and make sure everybody was safe," Gengler said. "Now, we're transitioning into the investigation part of this. We're going to search all of the courthouses. Obviously, the priority were the ones that received a direct threat."
Gengler said that when authorities catch the people involved in the threat, the sheriff's office will push for restitution.
"We don't know how long it's going to take to track these people down, but we're definitely looking for them," he said.