The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

May 10, 2013

Suspicious package stalls Walmart shoppers

By Katie Dahlstrom
Herald Staff Writer

CLINTON — Diane McVey was drying her freshly painted cherry-red toe nails at the Clinton Walmart when an employee calmly told her to leave the store.

"They didn't tell me why we needed to leave so I had no idea why," the Camanche resident said. "We were all just told to leave."

McVey, along with every other Walmart customer and employee, was evacuated from the store Thursday night because of a potential homemade bomb.  

The Clinton Fire Department was dispatched to Walmart at 6:14 p.m. after management reported a suspicious package in one of the management offices at 2715 S. 25th Street.

Related: View photos from the evacuation

When the fire department arrived on scene, they cleared the store and had management account for all employees.

Dozens of Walmart customers and employees marched in the drizzle to the outskirts of the parking lot where they waited to resume shopping or working.  

Battalion Chief Frederick Roling said once everyone had been evacuated firefighters went into the store to examine the package, which included sending photos to the Iowa Fire Marshal's Office for examination.  

The package was ruled to be harmless and guests and employees were let back into the store at around 7 p.m.

"In this day and age you have to be cautious with everything," Roling said. "It turned out to be nothing, but the people were safe and that's all that matters."