Deputies with the Harford County Sheriff’s Office have charged Steve Michael Droter, 45 of Abingdon, in connection with the bomb threat at Prince of Peace Church.
At just before 12:45 p.m. on Tuesday, September 24, officers responded to the church, located in the 2600-block of Willoughby Beach Road, for a report of a suspicious vehicle.
Upon arriving at the scene, deputies located a box truck occupied by Droter. After deputies made contact with Droter, he made statements that led deputies to believe he may have had explosives in his vehicle.
Out of an abundance of caution, authorities immediately established a perimeter and evacuated the church as well as residences in proximity to the vehicle. Police also shut down Willoughby Beach Road to traffic.
Investigators with the Office of the State Fire Marshall and Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms responded to the scene and cleared the vehicle. No explosives were located.
As the investigation progressed, it was determined Droter had rented the box truck earlier in the month and had not yet returned it to the company, leading to them reporting it as stolen.
Droter was taken into custody and transported to the Harford County Detention Center. He has been charged with threat of mass violence, theft, unauthorized removal of motor vehicle, and vehicle/rented: fail return. He is currently awaiting an initial appearance before a District Court Commissioner.