Chandler Walmart evacuated for bomb threat

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by Mike Gertzman

Video report by Kristine Harrington

Posted on August 16, 2013 at 5:15 PM

Updated Saturday, Aug 17 at 8:27 AM

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CHANDLER, Ariz. -- A Walmart and the surrounding area were evacuated Friday morning in response to a bomb threat, according to a spokesman for the Chandler Police Department.

It happened at the Walmart on Arizona Avenue at Pecos Road.

Police said a suspect called police and claimed to be headed to the Walmart with a bomb because he was upset with store employees over a shoplifting arrest.

Police bomb technicians and canine units from Mesa, Tempe, Chandler and the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office are conducting interior and exterior sweeps of the store. 

The inspection lasted four hours, but the investigation is far from over.

"This is an absolute threat to public safety no matter how you look at it," said Sgt, Joe Favazzo with the Chandler Police Department. "Whether there is a  bomb or there is not a bomb there is a threat to public safety and we're going to take it seriously,  Walmart takes it seriously and the community takes it seriously."

If caught, the person who called in the threat will face several felony charges, according to police.

"On the backside of this I can assure you we have investigators working very hard, very diligently to locate this caller," explained Sgt. Favazzo.

 

Police requested the public avoid the area due to heavy traffic and a large police presence.


 

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