A recent string of bomb threats at Indiana schools, businesses and shopping malls left school officials, police and business operators handcuffed and frustrated.

For example, social media threats in mid-December caused the shutdown of schools in Plainfield and Danville, and repeated threats to Franklin Community High School prompted school officials to cancel classes.

Consequently, school officials across the county had to be on greater alert for anything similar in their districts.

Fortunately, the threats didn’t result in anyone getting hurt.

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The sheer number of threats almost suggested some kind of coordinated or copycat prank. However, situations such as these are not jokes.

Police must treat all threats seriously, because failing to do so could have deadly ramifications. That means diverting additional manpower that could be useful attending to other calls instead of pranks disguised as actual threats.

Schools and businesses must treat the threats seriously for the same reason, resulting in closures or cancellation of activities. While that is necessary, evacuating people is annoying because it reduces productivity and seems to generate more copycat actions.

Our hope is that more sophisticated investigation tools using technology will help identify the perpetrators, and that punishment will be significantly equal to the crimes.

At issue

Bomb threats across central Indiana left authorities frustrated.

Our point

Situations such as these are not jokes and divert manpower that could be useful attending to other calls.