The Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Bomb Squad determined no explosives were in or near the supercenter, and the store resumed business after about two and a half hours.
Staff members at Walmart, at Sperry and Ward avenues, received a phone call at about 7:10 p.m. regarding a suspicious package or packages placed near a bicycle behind the building, according to police at the scene.
Glenn Gudino, a Patterson resident, was inside the Walmart shopping when the store was cleared.
“I was heading to the checkout when I saw associates coming from the back of the store doing a full sweep,” he said. “I was impressed. They were very calm and very, very efficient.”
The sheriff’s bomb squad, which arrived with a bomb-destroying robot at 8:10 p.m., determined by 9 p.m. that there were no suspicious packages behind the store. At about 9:25 p.m., squad members reported no bombs were inside the store.
Walmart management allowed staff to resume work shortly before 9:30 p.m., and the store was reopened to shoppers.
Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Sgt. Anthony Bejaran said the call was made anonymously, and the department has no suspects.
Walmart employees and managers refused to speak about the matter and referred all questions to the company’s media relations department. Calls and emails to that department were not returned this week.
The California Highway Patrol temporarily blocked access to Sperry Avenue at Ward and West Las Palmas avenues while bomb squad members searched for explosives. Walmart security and police prevented drivers from pulling into the store’s parking lot.
Similar bomb threats were made at several Walmart stores throughout the nation during the past week, including one in the Yuba County town of Linda on March 12, according to the Marysville Appeal-Democrat.
The Mountain Jackpot of Woodland Park, Colo., stated Wednesday, March 20, that police there are questioning three Pennsylvania boys for making threats at Walmart stores in at least three states, including Colorado, Oklahoma and Kansas.
According to the Woodland Park police, a 15-year-old boy admitted to making the prank calls, along with two of his underage friends. The boy admitted that he and his friends called the Walmart in Woodland Park and made a bomb threat.
No arrests have been made, and the investigation is ongoing, according to the report.
No explosives were found in any of those incidents.
• Contact the Patterson Irrigator at 892-6187, or email@example.com.