Several businesses at the US 35/Interstate 71 intersection were evacuated Monday afternoon due to a bomb threat called into Starbucks that was later determined to be a hoax.
At around 2:30 p.m., the threat was made by a call from an unidentified number, according to authorities. Starbucks employees said there was a package in the store’s mailbox and another container in the back of the store.
“The store employees said they weren’t expecting the packages and the employees don’t open the mail that comes to the store. Management handles that,” said Fayette County Sheriff Vernon Stanforth following the investigation. “So at that point, concern was raised because the threat was made and the employees didn’t know what was inside the packages. Confirmation on the contents needed to be made. But it turned out that the packages were legitimate.”
The Franklin County Bomb Squad was called in to investigate the scene.
“Franklin County has the technology to fully investigate and make sure there’s no real threat,” said Stanforth. “They brought their robots and x-ray equipment to ensure that there was no explosive material, which there wasn’t.”
The businesses that share a building with Starbucks — Subway and Chipotle — evacuated during the investigation, as did the nearby Wendy’s and Taco Bell. Destination Outlets was not impacted by the investigation.
State Route 435 was closed for approximately a half hour while authorities were on the scene. The scene was cleared by around 5:30 p.m. There are currently no suspects in the matter.
Along with the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office and Franklin County Bomb Squad, the Jefferson Township and Silvercreek fire departments responded to the scene.
“Everyone did good work,” Stanforth said. “The main thing is everyone went home safely.”