Man Charged With Terrorism Threats Against Lincoln-Way
Tom G. Rohrbach, 46, of New Lenox, was charged with two counts of falsely making a terrorist threat and nine counts of disorderly conduct.
Updated 4 p.m. May 2
A series of phone calls spanning two months led police to the man they believe made threats against the Lincoln-Way High School District this year.
Tom G. Rohrbach, 46, of the 700 block of Lisson Grove in New Lenox, was charged with two counts of falsely making a terrorist threat, a Class 1 felony, and nine counts of disorderly conduct, a Class 4 felony.
After investigating six phone calls threatening violence, police executed a search warrant at Rohrbach's mother's home, where he lived. Police recovered two cell phones. New Lenox Police Chief Bob Sterba said there were no explosives or guns found in the home.
"There was nothing of that sort that would lead us to believe this was anything more than sport for him," Sterba said. "He enjoyed seeing the police response."
Police responded to the four Lincoln-Way high schools the morning of Monday, April 30, after receiving a call threatening Central High School in New Lenox and North High School in Frankfort. According to police reports, the caller threatened "great bodily harm" at Central.
The male voice was studied and police determined it to be the same as a caller who threatened to bring guns to the school on March 6. In that incident, an untraceable phone was used and police weren't able to track the call.
Sterba said Rohrbach also made four calls to the New Lenox Police Department threatening violence, and all of the locations were near his home on Lisson Grove, which is in the Wellington subdivision near Route 30 and Schoolhouse Road in New Lenox.
In one call, Sterba said, Rohrbach threatened to "shoot up" people in Bishops Gate Road. Another time he threatened the same action in his street. In a third call, police said he threatened to kill himself, and during a call made from Charter Fitness in the Bluestone Commons shopping center, police say it appears he threatened to shoot inside of Target.
"While this is certainly unacceptable, it's important to stress that at no time was there a real threat of danger," Sterba said.
Sterba and Deputy Chief Bob Pawlisz credited the assistance of the Will County Sheriff's Department in the investigation, as well as the work by the Lincoln-Way Communications 911 dispatch center.
Although police say Rohrbach used untraceable phones, they were able to obtain enough information about the coordinates of the calls.
"The dispatches that came through weren't as easy to track, but this and the areas threatened certainly gave us an indication," Pawlisz said.
According to police, there's no known connection between Rohrbach and the Lincoln-Way High School District, except that he goes to Central to work out and lives near the school. Police said Rohrbach doesn't have a prior record, but family members told them during the investigation that he "did have some issues" and was developmentally disabled, Pawlisz said.
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Police blotter information is provided by the Will County Sheriff's Department. Charges are not evidence of guilt. They are a record of police actions taken on a given day, and persons charged with a crime are presumed innocent until proven guilty in court. If you or a family member are charged or cited and the case is subsequently adjudicated, we encourage you to notify the editor. We will verify and report the outcome.