Bomb threat clears Madras grocery; nothing found

Manager called police after telephoned threat

MADRAS, Ore. - A telephoned bomb threat prompted evacuation of the Erickson's Thriftway in Madras Wednesday evening, but a search found nothing and it reopened within an hour, the night manager said.

"Somebody called on the phone and said they put a bomb in the store and it was going to blow up," Josh Bibler told news partner KBND Radio about  the call, which came in around 7:15 p.m.

"I called the cops and evacuated everybody out of the store, and let the cops search the store," Bibler said.

There was no concern or panic as the few customers in the store on SW Fourth Street at the time were ushered out, he added.

Police responding to the scene told store workers to look for anything out of the ordinary. They also were urged not use their cell phones or radios, possibly in reaction to the cell-service shutdown near the Boston Marathon bombing site last week over worries that it could trigger a device remotely.

Bibler told KBND he did not recognize the man's voice, and he didn't know why the store was picked as a target.

Asked if there had been other such calls to the store, he added, "I've been here 18 years and I've never heard of it."

It's not been a good week for Central Oregon's Erickson's Thriftway stores. On Monday night, a transient pulled a knife on a checkout cashier at the Bend store at Eighth Street and Greenwood Avenue, demanded cash, then ran. Police said he was apprehended about five minutes later, with the help of a police K-9's bite when he refused to comply with officers' orders.

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