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Bomb scare that emptied 4 Lake Grove stores unfounded, police say

Suffolk County Police on scene in front of

Suffolk County Police on scene in front of the Old Navy department store at Smith Haven Plaza on Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2016. Photo Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara

The bomb scare at a Lake Grove shopping center Tuesday night was unfounded and turned out to be three canisters containing electrical components, Suffolk police said.

The 8-inch canisters, made of rubber on the outside and lined with metal inside, are not unusual in the construction industry, police said. Emergency service officers X-rayed them at the scene, police said.

But who left them on the east side of the Smith Haven Plaza — and why — is still a mystery.

After the canisters were spotted about 5:40 p.m., authorities evacuated four stores, shut down part of the parking lot and closed off a New Moriches Road between Route 25 to Route 347, police said.

The canisters were discovered near Old Navy, and people had to leave that store along with Trader Joe’s, AT&T and Men’s Wearhouse, police said.

After 90 minutes on the scene, officers gave the nod for business to resume, police said.

The plaza is a short walk to the Smith Haven Mall.


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