SEABROOK - Local police are expected to bring charges soon against the suspect they believe responsible for the fake threats that evacuated local retailers for two hours during Saturday's prime shopping hours.
Seabrook police said they responded to Walmart at about 11 a.m. after receiving a report there was an explosive device in the store. While enroute to the store in the shopping center at 700 Lafayette Road, officers received a second call that went into the police station, saying there was a man with a firearm in Walmart.
After officers took steps to ensure public safety, police quickly determined there was no one in the store with a firearm. Walmart and adjoining stores were evacuated, however, as police searched for the reported explosive.
According to police, the New Hampshire State Police Bomb Squad was called in to sweep the building for explosives. Finding none, police determined there was no threat and the stores were reopened at approximately 1 p.m.
Although Seabrook police believe both threats were hoaxes, they do not believe Saturday's threats are related to a series of similar calls that have been made across New England in recent months.
Seabrook Deputy Chief Kevin Gelineau said police have a suspect in the case.
"The quick response of our patrol officers to secure the scene and begin investigation has led to a person of interest who we believe to be responsible for today's events," Gelineau said. "Charges will be forthcoming."
Gelineau thanked other agencies who partnered with Seabrook police to assist with the situation, including the New Hampshire State Police, and the Kensington and Hampton Falls police departments.
"With their help and the terrific work of our own officers, we were able to safely investigate the threats and reopen area businesses," Gelineau said.
Anyone with information on this case is asked to contact Seabrook police Det. Zachary Bunszell at ZBunszell@seabrookpd.com or Lt. Timothy Mone at 603-474-5200. Anyone wishing to provide information on illegal activities can report the information to the Seabrook Police Department at 603-474-5200 or through the Crimeline for the Hamptons via phone at 603-929-1222.
This article originally appeared on Portsmouth Herald: Seabrook NH police: Walmart a target of hoax bomb, gunman threats