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Stray Flashlight Creates Bomb Scare at Albemarle Walmart

June 9, 2012

A flashlight on top of a trash can was responsible for a bomb scare at the Walmart on Route 29 in Albemarle County.

Employees evacuated the store around 10:30 a.m. Saturday.

The Albemarle County fire marshal called in Virginia State Police for backup. Police used an X-ray to determine whether the flashlight was dangerous. Authorities are investigating this as a prank.

Authorities are still investigating the incident as a potential prank. They say with a rash of flashlight bombs around the country, they'd rather play it safe.

"The concern is that somebody sees it, picks it up, inadvertently flips the switch to see if it works," said Mel Bishop, an assistant fire marshal for Albemarle County. "It can set it off and cause a death or a serious injury. So obviously, it's of great concern to us."

The fire marshal's office looked at surveillance video from Walmart to determine who left the flashlight on the trash can and why.

Walmart reopened to customers shortly after 1:15 p.m.

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