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L.A. bomb threats: Two threats, two very different responses

Bomb threats made against Cal State L.A. and 'Cal State Berkeley' (presumably UC-Berkeley) prompted the L.A. campus to evacuate while Berkeley conducted quiet searches.

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This sign, posted on a police car, informs students of a bomb threat to the Cal State University Los Angeles campus, Thursday, April 18, 2013. Two telephoned bomb threats from L.A. pay phones prompted officials at Cal State Los Angeles to cancel today's afternoon classes and evacuate the campus.

Damian Dovarganes / AP

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When 911 callers told Southern California police Thursday that there were bombs at two state universities, one campus decided to evacuate thousands of students while the other quietly conducted searches, allowing business to continue as usual.

Such are the judgment calls local officials, jittery after the Boston Marathon bombings, are being forced to make.

The El Monte Police Department, in suburban Los Angeles, received 911 calls at 10:37 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. from payphones about a mile apart in the center of city, said Sgt. Roger Cobian, a spokesman for the department.

"The caller in each said there were bombs at both Cal State LA and 'Cal State Berkeley,'" Cobian said. The department informed officials at California State University, Los Angeles, and the University of California, Berkeley, of the threats, and the investigation was turned over to the Los Angeles Police Department.

Cobian said the department believes the same person made both calls and that the person was likely male.

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