A bomb threat that was phoned to a Thurston County employee at 3:30 p.m. Thursday closed down the county courthouse complex, including the county offices.
The evacuation was a precaution, Sheriff's Lt. Greg Elwin said.
"We're sending everybody home early," he said.
The Sheriff's Office has deployed explosives-sniffing dogs around the perimeter of the complex; they have not turned up any suspicious packages or devices, Elwin said.
The Washington State Patrol bomb squad was activated about 4:30 p.m. and was en route, according to Trooper Guy Gill.
Superior Court Judge Gary Tabor said he was in the middle of the daily preliminary appearances for jail inmates who had been arrested overnight when he was told they had to evacuate. He said they might have to finish those hearings Friday morning.
The Sheriff's Office had closed off the entrance to the complex as of about 4 p.m., and no cars were able to enter or leave.
Elwin said it is his understanding that courthouses in Chelan and Douglas counties also had bomb threats Tuesday.
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