Man accused of threatening to blow up coworkers

by: Monique Ming Laven Updated:

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SEATTLE - A Tacoma man is in the King County Jail facing four felony charges after Seattle police say he threatened to blow up his co-workers.

The threats targeted employees at Jack Henry and Associates, which has an office on the third floor of Metropolitan West business tower at Olive and Minor in downtown Seattle. The company does information processing for community banks.

Police say James Bea sent anonymous text messages to fellow workers from April 15 to April 22. The texts were alarming and violent in nature, and included references to the employees' family members. One of the first, sent the morning of April 15, said:

Hello Tom.  I know you are wondering who this is, but we will get to that later. I've watched you for the past 6 months. Where you work, which route you take home, where you grocery shop, where you go for drinks, where that pretty little girlfriend of yours works; need I go on? What do I want you may be wondering? I want you and the rest of your staff to evacuate the building. Failure to do so will harm not only your pretty soon to be wife, but everyone who works for you. I have planted and will detonate 18 C4 explosives in exactly 30 minutes. Take this as a joke, and your staff's lives will be in your hands.

Bea also allegedly sent himself similar texts to try to throw off suspicion. But police traced the accounts back to computers at the Tacoma home where he lived with his girlfriend.

Legal documents do not reveal a motive, but they do note that Bea was able to stay home on paid leave while the company checked into the threats.

When police traced the texts to Bea, they also discovered that Bea was allegedly stealing the identities of several people in Maine and making charges to credit cards in their names. The victims were customers at banks that had hired Jack Henry and Associates, and he had allegedly stolen their information from files at work.

Police did not find any explosives.

Bea now faces felony charges of threat to bomb, harassment, stalking and fraud.  He's in the King County Jail on a $100,000 bond.