CANTON, Ohio — A man who was employed by the Goodwill Industries of Greater Cleveland and East Central Ohio was arrested Thursday, accused of making threats that closed Canton, Cleveland and Akron area stores Tuesday and Wednesday.
On Tuesday, Goodwill officials received several threats from an unknown individual that were sent to three different Stark County locations Tuesday.
"The threats seemed the same between the phone call and the emails. We ended up receiving another email after that. It dealt with causing harm to individuals at one of our sites," Maureen Ater, Vice President of marketing and development for Goodwill Industries of Greater Cleveland and East Central Ohio, said on Tuesday.
Goodwill closed 22 of its retail stores and five donation centers on Tuesday and Wednesday, and the neighboring Goodwill in Akron also closed its stores and donation centers out of precaution.
On Thursday, the Canton Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other agencies assisted in the arrest of a Canton man in connection to the threats made to Goodwill.
Goodwill said the man was an employee of their retail store located in the 2600 block of Atlantic Boulevard in Canton. He was hired in September and worked as a donations processor for the agency.
The man is accused of making anonymous threats by email and phone to Goodwill on Tuesday and Wednesday and is being charged with making terrorist threats and inducing panic—both felonies.
All Goodwill stores outside of Stark County were open for normal hours Thursday while police investigated and made the arrest. All Goodwill stores aside from the location on Atlantic Boulevard will be open normal hours on Friday, and the Atlantic Boulevard location will open again on Tuesday, Dec. 14 with additional security.
The agency said staff at the closed stores will be compensated for time missed and counseling services will also be offered.
“I think we all can breathe a collective sigh of relief that we have found answers,“ said President and CEO Anne Richards. “Now we can begin to find our way back to a sense of normalcy and continue to do what we do best…serve the needs of our community.”
Download the News 5 Cleveland app now for more stories from us, plus alerts on major news, the latest weather forecast, traffic information and much more. Download now on your Apple device here, and your Android device here.