Bomb squad detonates device at Walmart

Police waiting on testing of device left at Franklin Walmart

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UPDATE July 20: Franklin police said they are waiting on surveillance video from Walmart and information from the ATF in their investigation into the suspicious device found Monday.

The device remains at the crime lab for testing and police are hoping the video from Walmart will be available soon.

UPDATE, July 19:

Remnants of a suspicious device that was found Monday at the Walmart store in Franklin remain under examination at the regional crime lab.

Franklin police Capt. Ross Coulton said the device looked suspicious and said Miami Valley Regional Crime Lab would determine what the device actually was.

“We don’t know for sure what it is,” he said. “We’ll see what the lab can tell us.”

Police will also be reviewing surveillance video of the parking lot on Monday to possibly identify who may have placed the device there.

ORIGINAL REPORT, July 18:

Franklin police and fire, the Ohio Highway Patrol and the Butler County Bomb Squad were called after a Walmart customer found a suspicious package in the parking lot of the store, 1275 E. Second St., just about 3 p.m., Franklin police Capt. Ross Coulton said.

Walmart customers were allowed in and out of the store, but not in the vicinity of the device. The store was placed on lockdown when the bomb squad arrived on scene.

Customers were kept on the grocery side of the store and away from the lawn and garden section, which is nearest to where the device or package was found, Walmart spokeswoman Leslee Wright said by phone from the company’s headquarters in Arkansas.

Franklin police closed off the store parking lot and East Second Street between Deardoff Road and I-75 until the device or package was detonated.

Coulton described the device as being 18 inches long, with rounded ends and was wrapped with electrical tape, blue Duct tape and a bungee strap. It also had a mini Maglite flashlight and a plug with a cord similar to that of an earphone or a smart phone.

“With the assistance from the Franklin FIRE/EMS, Ohio State Patrol, and Walmart employees, the safety of all our citizens was never jeopardized as roadways all around the parking lot where shut down and citizens in the immediate area where ushered into the buildings away from windows and doorways,” Coulton said in a statement released Monday night.

The Franklin fire chief said the bomb squad robot was used to detonate the device or package by shooting it with a shotgun-type round. Police collected what was left of the device and took it to the Miami Valley Crime Laboratory in Dayton.

If you have information about the device or saw anything that might help police, you are asked to call Franklin police Detective Figliola at (937) 746-2882.

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