Walmart on Highway 45 North evacuated its customers and closed for about 90 minutes Saturday due to a suspicious package outside that turned out to be overflow trash.
An off-duty Columbus police officer saw a black bag sitting next to a garbage can near one of the building’s front entrances at about 1:30 p.m. and reported it to store employees inside, Police Chief Fred Shelton told The Dispatch. Management then opted to evacuate the store.
Columbus Air Force Base personnel arrived shortly after with a bomb-sniffing dog to see if the bag was a threat, but it turned out to contain only trash.
“We’re thinking somebody just set it next to the garbage can because (the can) was overflowing,” city public information officer Joe Dillon said.
After authorities issued the all-clear, the store reopened at 3 p.m.
Zack Plair is the managing editor for The Dispatch.