Man arrested in threats against Lincoln-Way schools
By Brian Stanley email@example.com May 2, 2012 10:02AM
A view of the residence where Tom Rohrbach, 46, resides in the 700 block of Lisson Grove Wednesday, May 2, 2012, in New Lenox. Rohrbach was arrested for allegedly making threats against Lincoln-Way schools. | Matthew Grotto~Sun-Times Media
Updated: June 4, 2012 11:37AM
NEW LENOX — Police say a man called in threats to shoot up high schools because he enjoyed watching their response.
Tom G. Rohrbach, 46, was arrested Tuesday on four counts of making terrorist threats and four counts of disorderly conduct. His bond was set at $75,000.
On March 6, a man with a disguised voice and unidentified cell phone number called 911 and threatened to “shoot up Lincoln-Way Central High School” before hanging up.
Near the opposite corner from the school is the Wellington subdivision where Rohrbach lives with his mother, Will County Sheriff’s Deputy Chief Ken Kaupas said.
Deputies rushed to the campus but did not report any incidents while investigators were unable to trace the call.
New Lenox police had slightly better luck later in the month when they received a 911 call threatening a shooting spree in the Wellington subdivision. (All the threats were phoned in to the Lincoln-Way 911 Center which dispatched officers from the respective jurisdictions.)
“The calls were recorded and while the voice was intentionally disguised it appeared to be the same person who threatened the school,” New Lenox Chief Bob Sterba said.
Detectives identified Rohrbach as a suspect and were also able to narrow down the area where their threatening call had come from as their investigation continued.
On Monday, Rohrbach allegedly called 911, this time threatening Lincoln-Way’s Central and North campuses. Kaupas and Sterba said their detectives met to share information that led to Rohrbach being questioned Tuesday.
“During the interview he made statements about the calls,” Kaupas said. “He was apologetic and had no malice to (schoolchildren but) liked to watch the police response.”
Rohrbach allegedly admitted he used a stopwatch while waiting for police to arrive after making the calls and watching from a nearby forest preserve.
According to reports, Rohrbach is separated and has lived with his mother for some time. He has no children.
“He also has no criminal history but has a history of psychiatric treatment,” Kaupas said.
About 7 p.m. Tuesday, New Lenox and sheriff’s police used a warrant to search Rohrbach’s residence, 781 Lisson Grove.
“No weapons or explosives were found, but we did seize two cell phones,” Sterba said.
No one answered the door at Rohrbach’s residence Wednesday.
A neighbor who asked not to be identified said Rohrbach would wave hello if she saw him outside and would help remove snow from the sidewalks.
“We never saw anything alarming from him,” she said. “And his mother is very sweet. I’m going to take her some flowers. I’m sure she had a rough night.”