KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A rash of bomb threats leading to temporary closures at area Walmart stores continued early Sunday morning.
Just before 2:30 a.m. Sunday, Lawrence Police responded to both Walmart stores in town after an employee at each store reported receiving a threat from a male caller. The calls came in about two minutes apart from each other.
Sgt. Kirk Fultz of the Lawrence Police Department said his department usually consults with store managers in determining how extensively to respond to bomb threats, and it did so in this case.
“They decide if they want to close the store down and look for evidence,” Fultz said.
Fultz said he didn’t know whether either store was evacuated or how extensively they were searched, but “no evidence was found to substantiate the statement,” and both stores were open Sunday morning.
The Walmart store in Leavenworth, Kan., was evacuated and searched by the Police Department there shortly after 4:30 a.m. Sunday. It was reopened after about an hour.
Major Dan Nicodemus of the Leavenworth Police Department said someone called the Walmart store in Gladstone, Mo., shortly before 4:30 a.m., saying a bomb had been planted in the Walmart store in Leavenworth. The employee who took the call in Gladstone notified authorities in Leavenworth.
The Gladstone Walmart was one of at least eight Walmarts across Missouri that were briefly evacuated after receiving similar threats on Friday, July 27.
"We cleared the store and the parking lot, and we weren’t able to find any devices,” said Leavenworth’s Nicodemus. “It’s hard to say what the motivation is. … I'm sure we will get with other agencies and compare similarities. We have not contacted the FBI, to my knowledge."
Bridget Patton, a spokeswoman for the FBI office in Kansas City, Mo., said her office is aware of and is assessing the rash of threats against area Walmarts, but it has not yet formally joined the investigation. However, that could change as soon as Monday, she said, following a review.
Walmart stores in at least eight cities across Missouri, including Gladstone and Raytown, were evacuated on the evening of Friday, July 27, after bomb threats were made against them. No bomb was found in any of the stores, and no one was hurt. Also, the Tulsa, Okla., World newspaper reported a Walmart in Claremore, Okla., was briefly closed by a bomb threat on July 25.
In two of the Friday cases, the person receiving the call told authorities that a robotic voice made the threat. In none of the cases today was such a robotic voice mentioned.
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