Walmart says bomb threats caused evacuations at five of its Missouri stores but no explosives were found and nobody got hurt.
Company spokesman Dan Fogleman told The Kansas City Star (http://bit.ly/LZ3zwQ) threats were called in Friday evening to stores in Raytown, Gladstone, Jefferson City, Nixa and Ozark.
Fogleman says such threats can happen at any retail establishment, but acknowledged it's unusual to get so many in one evening.
He says the company is working closely with law enforcement to find out who is responsible.
Two Walmart stores in Tulsa, Okla., received bomb threats on the same day in June, and a 13-year-old boy in Minnesota is suspected of making a threat in April that led to the evacuation of a Walmart in Alabama.
UPDATE: July 28, 2012; 3:00 p.m
The eastside Wal-Mart in Jefferson City re-opened just after 10pm Friday, three hours after evacuating for an apparent bomb threat. While Jefferson City Police officers on the scene and store personnel would not confirm why the store was evacuated, reports came out quickly that it was not the only store in the state to shut down temporarily.
KCTV in Kansas City reports seven others got similar threatening calls. The Gladstone, MO, Walmart at 72nd and North Prospect Avenue the Raytown, MO, Walmart on Missouri Highway 350 near Raytown Road. Other media outlets were reporting store closures at the same time in Nixa and Ozark, St. Peters and Piedmont.
In Jefferson City, shoppers were told to leave their carts and leave the store. A couple who had to leave their car in the auto center told KRCG reporter Teresa Snow on the scene that they saw law enforcement bring in a dog to search the building. A Wal-Mart manager said employees train for orderly evacuations.
While the store remained closed, a Jefferson City Police officer manned the round-about in front of the store, blocking the entrance to the store.
While waiting, store employees played ball and gathered in the parking lot, unable to get too close to the building but also unable to leave. One store worker we spoke with left for dinner just before the threat came in. He had to wait until 10pm as well to return to the store. Dozens of employees ready to begin their shift waited until the all clear came just after 10pm.
Police on the scene said there would be no immediate comment on the case.