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Waikoloa shopping center evacuated 08-18-04
HAWAII COUNTY POLICE DEPARTMENT
SOUTH KOHALA PATROL DISTRICT
CAPTAIN CHADWICK K. FUKUI
AUGUST 18, 2004
A shopping center in Waikoloa, South Kohala, was evacuated for nearly five hours Wednesday (August 18, 2004) until a U.S. Army bomb squad examined the contents of a briefcase and found it to be harmless.
An Explosive Ordnance Detail from Schofield Barracks was flown in from Oahu and found only articles of clothing, an empty vodka bottle and a flyer for a life support ambulance service in the briefcase, which had been left in the parking lot of the Waikoloa Highlands Center near the Waikoloa Village Market.
As a precaution, the area was evacuated because the market had recently received two bomb threats.
Responding to a 9:55 a.m. call, South Kohala police determined that a market employee discovered the unattended briefcase in the parking lot. The briefcase had no identification.
As a precaution, police set up a safety zone around the briefcase and called the Fire Department for assistance. On arrival at 11:30 a.m., firefighters recommended that the center be evacuated to extend the safety zone set up by police.
Authorities then sent for an EOD unit from Oahu. On arrival at 2:40 p.m., Army personnel x-rayed the briefcase and found no evidence of explosives. On opening the briefcase, they confirmed there were no harmful materials inside, and the evacuation was called off about 4:20 p.m.
Captain Chadwick Fukui, commander of the South Kohala Patrol District, said it is believed the briefcase is related to previous bomb threats made against the market. It is also believed that the briefcase was left unattended to create a disturbance, Fukui said.
Police have classified the incident as a terroristic threatening case.
Anyone with information about bomb threats aimed at the Waikoloa Village Market is asked to call the police non-emergency number at 935-3311.
Those who wish to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona. All Crime Stoppers information is kept strictly confidential.
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