AP NEWS

Target reopens after bomb threat prompts evacuation

December 23, 2018

A Target in northeast Raleigh was evacuated after a person called in a bomb threat, authorities said.

The Target, at 7900 Old Wake Forest Road, near Triangle Town Center, was evacuated after 1 p.m. Video from the scene showed customers pouring out the doors into the store’s parking lot.

“All of a sudden, I guess it was one of the managers came up and said we needed to leave the store and leave the merchandise right where it was, and not to check out and leave,” shopper Debbie Hargrove said.

The scene was clear and the store reopened by 2:40 p.m.

Danielle Schumann, a spokeswoman for Target, said the company received the threat via a phone call to guest relations. Raleigh police investigated the building and no evidence of a bomb was found.

“That’s very unfortunate that someone would do that, particularly this time of the year,” shopper Eva Fisher said. “People are so busy and are hopefully trying to make someone’s holiday much better and to do that this time of year is just not a good thing, or anytime actually.”

Despite the threat, some cautions but determined shoppers returned to Target to finish their holiday shopping.

“It’s been really busy today, all the stores have been packed nd hectic. We’re still out here continuing shopping,” shopper Antwand Bell said.

Schumann said there was no evidence of threats at other Target locations and there are no plans to add additional security or take other precautions in response to the incident.

“Hopefully everything is alright and everything has been cleared, because it’s a busy time of the year and we have family around and it’s kind of scary for the kids,” Bell said. “We don’t want to be out hearing those types of things.”

The incident comes just days after bomb threats were sent to media organizations, government buildings and other locations throughout the country, including an office building in Raleigh, three sites in Cary and one in Chapel Hill.

In that incident, a spam email sent to multiple businesses indicated that explosive devices had been carried inside each location and purported to withdraw that threat for $20,000.

Over the summer, Wake County school officials teamed up with the FBI and local law enforcement agencies to call for an end to bomb threats following a string of hoaxes.

Officials at the time said false bomb threats cost law enforcement agencies valuable time and money and, in the case of school threats, halts classes and causes some students to stay home out of fear.

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