Friday Harbor grocery store evacuated, street closed by bomb threat

A Sheriff
A Sheriff's deputy carries a bundle of crime-scene tape, with an abandoned briefcase that prompted a bomb-threat response rests against a boulder in the background.
— image credit: Scott Rasmussen

Authorities rolled out a full array of precautionary measures after a suspicious looking briefcase was found outside a Friday Harbor grocery store Saturday, at about 11:30 a.m.

Employees and shoppers were evacuated from the Marketplace grocery store and Market Street remains closed to traffic, barricaded by bright yellow "crime-scene" tape from Mullis to Nash streets, as a precaution.

A bomb squad from off-island is expected to be on the scene at about 3 p.m., according to Sheriff Rob Nou.

With mismatched materials on either side, the briefcase was found perched against a boulder in a landscaped area in front of the grocery store parking lot. It appears as if it was placed in that location and in a suspicious manner by design, Sgt. Scott Brennan of San Juan County Sheriff's Department said.

"It doesn't look like someone just forgot about it," Brennan said. "Somebody went to the trouble to set it there."



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