A suspicious package reported inside a Home Depot store on Long Island is not consistent with an explosive device, but police and bomb squad officers were continuing to sweep the premises as a precaution Wednesday evening.
Police were called to the store on Hempstead Turnpike in Elmont when an employee opened a returned box that was supposed to contain a jigsaw but instead contained other unspecified material.
The worker and store managers, on alert after a pipe bomb was discovered inside another Home Depot store in Huntington Monday, called police.
All businesses in the strip mall on Hempstead Turnpike, including Office Max and GNC, were evacuated as police and bomb squad responded. The stores were expected to re-open and employees returned to work when the all-clear is issued, police said.
Authorities Monday found a crude pipe bomb inside another Home Depot in Huntington, after store managers there opened a threatening letter that described where the bomb was left inside the building and demanded money by Black Friday.
Police were contacted and they located the pipe bomb on a shelf behind some boxes. Suffolk County's Bomb Squad destroyed the device Monday evening.
Law enforcement sources said the bomb did not have a timer attached to it but if someone had opened the box containing the device, it could have detonated.
The sources added the threatening letter had been sitting for some time in the store before it was opened Monday, and the letter stated more devices may be planted in other stores.
Sources said the letter was mailed from Long Island.
Police across Long Island and in New York City have been made aware of the threat, as have Home Depot stores in the area, the sources said.
“We are cooperating with authorities in the investigation,” said Stephen Holmes, a Home Depot spokesman. "The safety of our customers and our employees is of the utmost importance to us."