Arroyo Grande police are investigating phone threats made recently to several Arroyo Grande High students.
Six students — two girls and four boys — reported this week that they received short messages that are threatening in nature, said police Cmdr. Chuck Gerhart.
Gerhart declined to release the specific threats received, but said the messages are along the lines of “we’re going to cut your head off,” or “we’re going to hang you.”
Police believe that the students’ phone numbers may have been pulled off a social networking site, Gerhart said. He declined to name the site but urged caution when posting information on public websites.
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After police started investigating, they learned that similar incidents have been reported in other areas of the country over the past two weeks. Investigators believe the same people are responsible for the local threats, Gerhart said.
Police believe more than one person is involved based on a victim’s description of a call in which some people were heard in the background, he said.
The calls are not targeting one specific gender or race, Gerhart said. A few of them are athletes, he said.
There is no indication that the incidents are related to several recent crimes in the city: a cross burning outside a black teen’s window; a suspected arson behind the Police Department; and vandalism at Mesa Middle School in which graffiti targeting racial and ethnic groups was written on whiteboards.