2015-12-04 / Community

Local police aid national probe into threats at Wal-Mart

By Michael Kelley
Staff Writer


With bellies full of turkey, cranberry sauce and stuffing, shoppers line up outside Wal-Mart Thursday, Nov. 26 to take advantage of the retail giant’s Black Friday deals. The next day is when an automated bomb threat was called into the local Wal-Mart. (Michael Kelley photo) With bellies full of turkey, cranberry sauce and stuffing, shoppers line up outside Wal-Mart Thursday, Nov. 26 to take advantage of the retail giant’s Black Friday deals. The next day is when an automated bomb threat was called into the local Wal-Mart. (Michael Kelley photo) Scarborough police are providing assistance to a federal investigation into a nationwide bomb threat last Saturday at Wal-Marts across the country, including Scarborough’s.

“We are coordinating, but really the investigation is being done by the FBI and the state police because there were so many locations across the country and across Maine,” Scarborough Police Chief Robert Moulton said early this week.

The matter, he said, is “out of our hands.” Moulton said his department has “given all the information we have” and will continue to work with federal and state authorities, including the Maine Information and Analysis Center, a state organization created in 2006 that, according to its website, collects, analyzes and “shares intelligence between the federal government and State of Maine” and provides “analytical and investigative support for crimes of a complex, organized or statewide nature.”

The threat came into the Scarborough dispatch center at approximately 7:49 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 28, the day after Black Friday, perhaps the busiest shopping day of the Christmas season. Moulton said the automated call indicated there was a bomb at 500 Gallery Blvd. It contained little other information.

“It’s a cyber threat that could be done from anywhere,” Moulton said.

Moulton said police responded and evacuated the building until they could “do a sweep” to make sure it did not have a bomb.

“The police department provided support for the Wal-Mart management and remained on scene until it was deemed safe to allow customers and associates back in the store,” Sgt. Mary E. Pearson wrote in a media release.

Similar threats were made to Wal-Mart stores across Maine, including in Biddeford, Calais, Falmouth, Houlton, Newport, Palmyra, Skowhegan, Thomaston and Windham, as well as locations in Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, New York and Wyoming.

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