All clear after bomb squad responds to Pelham Walmart

The Pelham Police Department responded to a suspicious package at the Pelham Walmart on Aug. 15. (File)

The Pelham Police Department responded to a suspicious package at the Pelham Walmart on Aug. 15. (File)

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

A suspicious package reported in the parking lot of the Pelham Walmart turned out to be an empty suitcase after the Pelham Police Department and the Hoover Police Department’s bomb squad responded to the scene on Aug. 15.

Pelham police received a call shortly after noon reporting a suspicious suitcase near a trash can in the Walmart parking lot off U.S. 31, said Pelham police Capt. Larry Palmer.

After receiving the call, the Pelham police and fire departments and the Hoover bomb squad responded to the scene and closed off the area around the package.

Bomb technicians investigated the suitcase and determined it was empty, Palmer said.

After the area was deemed safe, officers reopened it to the public before 1 p.m.

Palmer said officers reviewed surveillance footage and determined a man likely purchased a new suitcase at the store before emptying his old suitcase and leaving it by the trash can.

“It turned out to be nothing, but you can’t be too careful with stuff like that, especially in this day and age,” Palmer said.

The incident was the second suspicious package reported in a Pelham parking lot in the past few months. In late May, the Pelham police and fire departments and the Hoover bomb squad also responded to a suspicious package in front of the Pelham Big Lots store.