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Several MI Walmart stores receive bomb threats that may be linked across the country

Several MI Walmart stores receive bomb threats that may be linked across the country

ROCHESTER HILLS, Michigan (WXYZ) – Three metro Detroit Walmart stores were evacuated Monday due to a bomb threat, which the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office says may be part of a larger, nationwide effort.

The threats were made Monday at Walmart stores in Rochester Hills, White Lake and Canton.

Deborah Stephens was headed to her local Walmart in Rochester Hills when the threats were made.

“He just said, ‘You don’t want to go there. There’s a bomb threat,'” Stephens recalled when she arrived.

Officers swept the buildings with the help of K-9s from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and ultimately came up with a thorough clean when nothing was found.

“Just going shopping and then you hear something like that? It’s scary,” Stephens said. “It makes you not want to come into a store because you never know when you go in, you might not come out. It’s scary.”

Around the same time, a threat was also made at a White Lake Walmart, with the caller demanding a ransom in both cases.

Similar threats were reported at Walmart stores in Canton and Coldwater. Less than 24 hours earlier, another similar threat was made at a Walmart in Holland, Ohio, just outside Toledo.

Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said, “My instinctive guess is that this is someone who has something to complain about with Walmart and feels that this is their avenue.” “He made a huge mistake.”

Bouchard says this appears to be a nationwide effort targeting Walmarts across the country. Bouchard said he is aware of cases in other states, including California and Hawaii.

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“My guess is this has happened more times than we know, and it’s going to start to pick up some steam in terms of law enforcement sharing this information,” Bouchard said.

Bouchard says these kinds of threats have been on the rise in the last two to three years, taking up valuable time and resources of local agencies.

“We receive threats against schools, houses of worship and workplaces on a daily basis,” Bouchard said.

In the meantime, these threats worry shoppers like Stephens, who hope law enforcement will find those responsible.

“We’re doing so much in our country now, that’s all, you know? It’s sad,” Stephens said.

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