Mandarin Target, Publix stores reopen after bomb scare

Jacksonville Sheriff's Office bomb squad says item was battery box

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Employees and customers of the Target and Publix stores on San Jose Boulevard just north of Interstate 295 were allowed to enter the store more than four hours after police were called early Monday morning to investigate a suspicious item.

Police later said the suspicious item found behind the Target was a black battery box with an LED light.

Employees from both stores were evacuated to the mall across the street about 6:20 a.m. while the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office bomb squad investigated the situation.

A Publix spokesman said the company made the decision to evacuate out of an abundance of caution. 

By 10:30 a.m., police allowed were allowed to reopen. Officers have not said what was found, but the bomb squad's robot was seen entering the back of the target during the time the store was evacuated.

Last week, a man robbed that same Publix and implied he had a bomb. Police said he handed an employee a written bomb threat that included the sentence, "You're not going to like me very much," then demanded $6,000 from a cashier.

The man grabbed the money and grabbed a gallon of milk before running off, the report said. The suspect in that robbery is still on the run.

READ MORE: Mandarin Publix robbed with bomb threat, Jacksonville police say

"It does make me uneasy, because you never know what that package really is. So who knows?" said Target shopper Heather Adkins, who was also aware of last week's incident at Publix.

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