The Columbus Dispatch

Goodwill worker arrested, accused of threats that closed stores

- Benjamin Duer

CANTON – Police have arrested a 29year-old suspect in connection with a series of threats against Goodwill that forced many of the agency’s Northeast Ohio retail stores to close for several days.

Giovanni Stanley of Canton faces felony charges of making terroristi­c threats and inducing panic. He was arrested Thursday by Canton police and booked into the Stark County Jail.

The motive behind the threats remains unclear.

Stanley worked at a Canton Goodwill store, according to the agency.

He is accused of being behind email threats received by the Goodwill Industries to “shoot up” the Atlantic Boulevard NE store where he worked on Tuesday. Police said a second Goodwill store received a phone call making similar threats of violence.

As a result, Goodwill Industries of Greater Cleveland and East Central Ohio and Goodwill Industries of Akron closed retail sites and donations centers Tuesday and Wednesday.

Most locations — except the Stark County stores — reopened Thursday.

Stanley was hired in September at the Goodwill retail store at 2630 Atlantic Blvd. NE and worked as a donations processor for the agency, Goodwill officials said in a news release.

The same Goodwill officials said all Stark County locations (except the Atlantic Boulevard site) will reopen Friday. That Canton store will reopen Dec. 14 with added security.

“We are relieved to have resolution to his very difficult incident,” President and CEO Anne Richards said in a prepared statement Thursday.

She added: “We are incredibly grateful to our law enforcemen­t who moved quickly to investigat­e these threats and ultimately make an arrest. Our agency, our staff and the community are so thankful for their persistenc­e.”

Police said detectives identified the suspect and obtained arrest warrants Thursday. The case remains under investigat­ion.

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