Photo by Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion Employees and customers of the Kenai Walmart Supercenter return to the  store after being briefly evacuated for a phoned-in bomb threat Monday, Aug. 29, 2016 in Kenai, Alaska. Several others were phoned in to stores in the Anchorage area.

Photo by Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion Employees and customers of the Kenai Walmart Supercenter return to the store after being briefly evacuated for a phoned-in bomb threat Monday, Aug. 29, 2016 in Kenai, Alaska. Several others were phoned in to stores in the Anchorage area.

Bomb threat called in to Kenai Walmart

Police in Kenai responded to a bomb threat at the Kenai Walmart on Monday morning.

Employees and customers chatted and enjoyed the 75-degree, sunny weather as the Kenai Police Department swept the building after a bomb threat was phoned in. Walmart employees called the threat in to the Kenai Police Department at 10:09 a.m. as the managers were in the process of evacuating the store, said Kenai Police Chief Dave Ross.

“We had officers search the building and nothing was found,” Ross said. “We’re still investigating.”

Employees and customers returned to the store around 11:15 a.m. For any future leads, the Kenai Police Department will coordinate with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Anchorage, which handles bomb threats because they are federal felony offenses.

Several bomb threats were also phoned in to Anchorage-area stores around the same time. Staci Feger-Pellessier, a spokesperson for the FBI in Anchorage, said there was no additional information available Monday about the threats in Anchorage.

Ross said it wasn’t clear whether the calls in Anchorage and the call in Kenai were connected, though they occurred around the same time.

Walmart spokesperson Charles Crowson said in an email that the company would continue to work with law enforcement agencies to find those responsible.

“What happened (Monday) is frustrating, and we recognize the seriousness of someone making any threat against our stores,” he said.

“Our customers and associates deserve to shop and work without worrying about their safety being threatened, even when that threat turns out to be a hoax. We’re grateful local law enforcement has been responsive to these calls and has ensured the safety of everyone at our stores until the matters have been resolved.”

 

Reach Elizabeth Earl at elizabeth.earl@peninsulaclarion.com.

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