UPDATE: Suspect arrested after bomb threat made at Calcutta Walm - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio


UPDATE: Suspect arrested after bomb threat made at Calcutta Walmart

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John Hester John Hester

CALCUTTA, Ohio - A suspect has been arrested following a bomb threat Tuesday. 

Employees discovered a suspicious package that looked like an explosive device Tuesday.

The initial call came in at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday and within minutes, the store was evacuated and entrances to the Summit Square Plaza were blocked off.

James Hester, 53, of Irondale, has been charged with inducing panic in the incident. The St. Clair Police Chief said that Hester was initially identified via surveillance video after the incident but was apprehended after he returned to the Walmart later that evening, trying to steal atelevision.

According to a police report, Hester, along with Brian Goodlin, 30, of Chester, West Virginia, had stolen the TV and sold it to a woman for $250. Goodlin said he stayed in the car while Hester went in the store.

The two were pulled over in jeep the same day. Goodlin stated in the report that they had stolen a TV a couple days ago as well.

Hester was arraigned today around 9 a.m. in East Liverpool Municipal Court. He was formally charged with Inducing panic and complicity. His bond was set at $75,000.

Goodlin was also charged with theft. His bond was set at $2,500. Both suspects have pre trials set on April 18 at 8:30 a.m.

Walmart employees were kept at a safe distance in the parking lot.

The police chief for St. Clair Township says the package was found in the electronics department of the store and it was obvious it did not belong.

"It was wrapped in black electrical tape. It also had silver duct tape that it was wrapped in. And then what we believe was a bandana, it was wrapped up again in that," said Donald Hyatt, St. Clair Township Police Chief.

The chief says the bomb squad was called in because the device also was wired to other electronic products. "It had a series of wires coming from within this wrapping, if you will, that were attached to five other boxes of electronic components," Chief Hyatt said.

An inspection by the bomb squad determined there was no threat of an explosion.

After a final sweep of the store, employees were allowed to return and the store re-opened three hours later.

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