On Friday, a Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) and a Home Depot (NYSE:HD) in Auburn were evacuated due to bomb scares that came on top of unrest following the Boston tragedy. Additionally, another Wal-Mart in Utica was also evaluated due to a threat.
Early that afternoon, a caller reported seeing a suspicious looking suitcase at the parking lot of the Home Depot in Auburn. The police and fire crew responded, but the building did not stay evacuated for long. It turned out though that the suitcase had merely been left there by another shopper who had been clearing things out of his car to make room for his purchases.
The situation at Home Depot was resolved much more quickly than the situation at Wal-Mart, which happened in the same area. Wal-Mart indicated they received a threat that suggested a bomb in the store. This store was also evacuated.
It was a very scary afternoon in the area. According to The Sun Journal, one shopper said that she saw customers and employers evacuating the Wal-Mart and then later she saw them evacuating the Home Depot nearby.
Auburn was not the only area that faced bomb threats either. A Utica teenager was recently charged due to an incident that happened at a Wal-Mart on Friday night. The teenager, Tyler Beniot, called the Wal-Mart saying that he had a gun. The employees were worried that the caller was inside the store, and the Wal-Mart was evacuated. The store was searched, and the police declared it all clear. The call had actually come from a home, and Beniot was charged with falsely reporting an incident.
These incidents have been taken very seriously in light of the recent attack in Boston. The police chief also said, ”We do want people to report these things. I think everything will settle down after they catch the other suspect in Boston.”
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