Local Wal-Mart Evacuated After ‘Suspicious Incident’

West Lebanon — A “suspicious incident” led to a brief storewide evacuation of the Wal-Mart on Route 12A late Thursday afternoon.

Lebanon police had begun stringing yellow caution tape across the entrances to the parking lot and were blocking traffic from entering around 3:45 p.m. on Thursday. Shortly after, Wal-Mart employees entered the store with police. But by 4:20 p.m., those employees who were gathered in large groups in the parking lot were being waved back inside.

Cpl. Richard Smolenski initially described the event as a “suspicious incident,” and said that Wal-Mart employees had made the decision to evacuate the store. After the employees returned to the store, he said the incident had been resolved.

“We went in and addressed the situation with their staff to address any hazards that might be there and we weren’t able to locate any,” Smolenski said.

Smolenski declined to comment on further specifics, including whether the incident was a bomb threat.

White River Junction resident April Roberts was inside the store shopping at the time of the evacuation, which she said was orderly and calm.

“They said, ‘There’s been an incident, don’t worry, everything is under control,’ ” Roberts said.