Police: Woman charged with making bomb threats against York County Walmarts again

Harper Ho
York Dispatch

A woman who has been convicted in York County and served time for making bomb threats at a Walmart has again been arrested on the same charge. 

Jodi Lynn Markle, 57, faces two separate charges of making terroristic threats causing an evacuation of building after the Walmart stores in West Manchester and Springettsbury townships each received bomb threats last month.

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Markle, who's homeless, was arraigned June 3 before District Judge Scott J. Gross and has since been in York County Prison in lieu of $5,000 bail.

York County 911 got a call about 6 p.m. May 28 from an unidentified woman who said she had planted a bomb at the Walmart in the West Manchester Town Center and challenged police to find it, according to court records.

The call prompted an evacuation at the store and a search of the premises using five K-9 bomb detection units, court records say.

Walmart management said the store lost about $100,000 in sales when the building was closed for about three hours.

The next day, around noon, the Walmart at 2801 E. Market St., in Springettsbury Township, also received a bomb threat, according to court records. 

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The store manager called 911 to report that a woman had called the pharmacy saying "there's a bomb in the store, you're all going to blow up," according to court records. 

 "The female giggled and then hung up the phone," state court documents, and about 900 customers and 200 employees were evacuated from the store.

Markle allegedly used a prepaid phone, which was purchased at the Walmart in Springettsbury Township on the morning of the bomb threat made to the West Manchester Township Walmart, according to court records.

"Markle's M.O. was to call in bomb threats and then wait and watch the response in a nearby parking lot," West Manchester Township Police said.

Police pinged the 911 call made from the prepaid phone to a phone tower near the East Market Street Walmart, according to police. Surveillance photos showing the person who bought the prepaid cellphone looked like Markle, according to police. 

Jodi Markle, pictured in a May 2015 mugshot.

Detectives also matched Markle's identity through comparing the 911 call recording to past recordings in which numerous similar bomb threats were made to the West Manchester Township Walmart in November 2018, according to court records.

Markle in June 2019 pleaded no contest to making terroristic threats causing an evacuation of building for those bomb threats and was sentenced to 341 days in prison.

She was also ordered to receive mental health evaluation and comply with any treatment recommended, court records indicate. 

In the 2018 case, Markle similarly called York County 911 on Nov. 21 and reported that she had placed a pipe bomb at the West Manchester Township Walmart, according to police.

Preliminary hearings are scheduled June 29 before District Judge Barry L. Bloss Jr. and July 14 before District Judge Keith L. Albright.