Two men are in custody after having allegedly caused a bomb scare at Highland Walmart on Monday night.
According to the Highland Police Department, police received two separate calls at 7:32 p.m. indicating that two male patrons were leaving the store after stating there was a bomb in the building.
“One of them said it several times as they were going to the store,” said HPD Lt. Chris Conrad. “They walked in and went straight to the back of the store and grabbed an item and said something there. And then they grabbed a food item in the front of the store and said something.”
Police ordered the evacuation of the store and started an investigation. Through cooperation from Walmart and a couple witnesses, the suspects and their vehicle were quickly identified, police said.
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“One of (the witnesses) paid attention and called, and the other one got their plate number,” Conrad said.
The two persons of interest were taken into custody, along with their vehicle, at 8:49 p.m. at the parking lot of Highland’s Tru-Buy, 610 Broadway, according to a press release from HPD.
The bomb threat was a hoax, the news release said, which was confirmed by an investigation completed at the store by the Illinois Secretary of State Police Bomb squad. The bomb squad completed its investigation and cleared the store for re-entry at 10:55 p.m.
According to preliminary information about the incident in the Highland Police Department’s daily blotter, the pair are also being investigated for possession of cannabis and drug equipment. One of the men taken into custody was also in possession of a switchblade knife at the time of his arrest, HPD Detective Chris Flake said, and could faces a weapon charge.
The names of the two persons of interest have not been released, pending formal charges.
The cooperating agencies in the incident were the Highland Fire Department, Madison County Sheriff’s Department, Grantfork Police Department, Illinois State Police, and Secretary of State Police Bomb Squad.