KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Police in two of at least eight Missouri cities where Walmart stores were evacuated Friday evening say the bomb threats that led to the evacuations came from a robotic voice that threatened to blow up the buildings.
Captain Eric Hovis of the Frederickton, Mo., Police Department, south of St. Louis, said that around 6:45 p.m. Friday a Walmart worker “received an automated phone call that said ‘There’s a bomb in the building. You have two hours to get everyone out. This is no joke.’ ”
Hovis said the worker described the caller’s voice as robotic or automated, and not normal conversation.
Chief Richard Sanders of the Piedmont, Mo., Police Department, about 50 miles southwest of Fredericktown, described the call to the Piedmont Walmart at 8:10 p.m. in similar terms.
“They said ‘You’ve got two hours to evacuate, and I don’t mind killing people.’ ... A desk clerk took the call and described it as robotic,” Sanders said.
In both Frederickton and Piedmont, police evacuated the store, made their own sweep and then called in a bomb squad from a nearby, larger city to check for explosives. No explosives were found, and so employees in both stores were allowed back in overnight to prepare for the Saturday-morning store opening as usual.
Frederickton’s Hovis said the Missouri Highway Patrol, the Madison County Sheriff and county emergency medical service crews all worked together on the evacuation and search. He said he has been in contact with other local law-enforcement agencies about the series of threats across the state, but not the FBI.
A similar bomb threat and evacuation took place Wednesday, July 25, at the Walmart in Claremore, Okla., according to a report in the Tulsa World.
According to a variety of sources, in addition to Frederickton and Piedmont, bomb threats also led to evacuations Friday night at Walmarts in the following Missouri cities: Gladstone and Raytown in the Kansas City area, Jefferson City, Nixa, Ozark and Saint Peters.
In no case was a bomb found, nor was anyone hurt.
Walmart corporate spokesman Dan Fogelman thanked law-enforcement agencies for their quick response, but did not answer a question about the total number of stores that received bomb threats and were evacuated Friday.
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