Princeton Shopping Center evacuated due to bogus bomb threat (updated)

The Princeton Shopping Center on North Harrison Street was evacuated on Wednesday evening due to a bogus bomb threat, commonly known as swatting. As of 7:30 p.m., stores were still closed, including McCaffrey’s Food Market. Swatting calls are difficult to trace, because callers often use computers.

New Jersey toughened penalties for swatting in 2015. Legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Paul Moriarty, D-Gloucester, and signed by then Gov. Chris Christie upgraded making a false public alarm from a third to a second-degree crime in situations where there is a report or warning of an impending bombing, a hostage situation, or a person armed with a deadly weapon. People convicted of swatting in New Jersey can face five to 10 years in prison and be required to pay restitution for costs were incurred by law enforcement to respond to such calls.

A previous edition of this story reported that the shopping center was evacuated due to a gas leak. Planet Princeton regrets the error.


  1. From conversation with the lovely folks at Nino’s Pizza Star the day after, it sounded as if insurance wouldn’t cover their loss of business that evening ((had to be more than 24 hours, apparently).

    So give some extra business and appreciation to all the places that had to close Wednesday evening.

    PS a special shout-out for Nino’s chicken noodle soup!

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