San Tan Valley, AZ – A bomb scare at an area Walmart prompted a complete store evacuation.
Authorities explained that a suspicious package was discovered near the entrance of the store on Friday. The Pinal County Sheriff’s Office said they received a call about a five-gallon paint bucket that had been left between two cars in the parking lot.
The bucket, which was described as being “out of place,” prompted store officials to evacuate all of the Walmart customers shopping at the location. Authorities estimate that between 500 and 1,000 individuals were asked to leave the store during the bomb scare.
While the paint bucket itself didn’t look out of the ordinary, Sergeant Stormee Wallace said surveillance footage showed someone purposely leaving the suspicious package between the cars.
“Because of course with the unfortunate events that just occurred in Boston, we wanted to make sure we didn’t have a secondary incident happen here. We wanted to make sure we did everything they could to protect residents of San Tan Valley,” Wallace told Fox 10 News.
Wallace added that some people ran out of the Walmart screaming during the bomb scare. Some customers left behind personal items in order to get out of the store.
The Sheriff’s Department asked the Department of Public Safety to bring in K-9 and bomb units in order to investigate the paint bucket. After the suspicious package was X-rayed and inspected, it was determined that the item in question posed no threat.
Wallace explained that authorities are currently looking for the person who left the paint bucket between the cars. He said that charges could be filed, though he didn’t elaborate further.
Another bomb scare occurred at a Walmart in Bogalusa, Louisiana after someone reported an abandoned suitcase inside a shopping cart on Friday. Authorities later determined that the suspicious package was empty and gave the all clear.
What do you think about the recent bomb scares at two Walmart locations over the weekend?