Suspicious “item” found at Walmart deemed harmless by investigators

Published 10:27 am Wednesday, November 30, 2022

SALISBURY — Salisbury Police were called to Walmart on Arlington Street at 5:20 a.m. Wednesday morning when employees stocking the store located a suspicious package, according to Police Chief Jerry Stokes.
Management evacuated the store, which was closed to the public at the time, and called 911, according to reports, and the store and connecting street were closed to through traffic until just after 10. The store remains closed at this time.
“The first officers on the scene made an inspection of the item and based on what they saw and an abundance of caution, additional resources were called in,” said Stokes.

The Cabarrus County Sheriff”s Office Bomb Squad was called in and at about 10 a.m. Stokes said the “item” had been rendered safe, and investigators with bomb-sniffing dogs were in the process of sweeping the rest of the store. Stokes said the item was determined not to be a dangerous or explosive device but “it did have the appearance of a pipe bomb.”

He added that in the end, it seems the item was something that had been removed from its normal packaging and so did not have its normal appearance, but it does not appear anyone put the item where it was intentionally in order to cause fear or harm.
“We are not looking for a suspect because it does not appear we have a crime at this time,” Stokes said. “If we did we would be investigating further. And given that across the country recently there have been incidents of people trying to cause harm, we encourage anyone who sees anything suspicious to call us, because you can’t be sure until you investigate.”
Rowan County Emergency Services and Salisbury Fire Department were also on scene. No injuries were reported and the Murphy Gas Station across the access road remained open during the incident.
At 12:30 p.m. the city reported police had given the all clear, investigators had left the scene and all streets were reopened. Walmart remains closed for the day and will reopen Thursday morning.