All Letisha Vester wanted was a break from work, said Holly Hill Police Chief Mark Barker.
Police say that she solved her dilemma by calling the company where she works and said that there was a bomb inside the building.
“She’s definitely getting the break she wanted,” an annoyed Barker said Wednesday. “At the Volusia County Branch Jail.”
The 43-year-old Vester, an employee at Metra Electronics was walking to work before sunup Wednesday when she made the call from her cellphone, Barker said. She left the message for the company’s human resources division at 4:30 a.m., the chief said.
When employees began arriving at the company — which manufactures car stereo dash kits and a range of electronic accessories — they listened to the message left on the voicemail and called police.
It was just after 9 a.m. and Vester was already at work, police said.
In about 10 minutes, police evacuated 300 employees from the Metra complex. Half of the workers were taken by Votran buses to City Hall; the other half were taken to The 2nd Street Public Market on Riverside Drive, Barker said.
Vester was among those taken to City Hall.
After investigators were able to trace the telephone number of the bomb threat caller via Metra’s voicemail system, they learned it belonged to Vester, an employee in the company’s paint department, Barker said. The number was verified further because it was written on Vester’s job application, Barker said.
When police went to City Hall to question the suspect, Vester had already ditched the cellphone and her employee identification badge. But those items were soon found by investigators, Barker said.
The suspect, who lives in Daytona Beach, told police she called in the threat because she wanted a “break from work,” Barker said.
The chief said Vester’s desire for a rest likely cost the city and county a lot of money. Three bomb-sniffing dogs from the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office were sent to the scene, as were firefighters and police, Barker said. Four Votran buses also were dispatched to take employees to the two locations, Barker said.
“We’re going to be asking for restitution (from her),” Barker said.
Vester, who was booked into the jail Wednesday afternoon, is charged with making a false report of a bomb. She could face federal charges, Barker said. She is also wanted on a warrant for felony larceny out of Okaloosa County, Barker said.