STERLING HEIGHTS (WWJ) – Sterling Heights police say a misunderstanding or over-reaction led to the evacuation of a Meijer store at 16 Mile Road and Van Dyke Monday evening.
A customer who bought a new backpack, and asked a Meijer employee where to leave his old one, mentioned a terrorist group.
“As they’re walking out of the store, they started talking about world events going on and ISIS,” Sterling Heights police Lt. David Smith told the Macomb Daily. Smith said the man left the old backpack in a shopping cart and left.
The employee went home, posted about the incident on social media, and was encouraged by friends to tell a manager about the conversation. At that point the manager decided to evacuate the store, as a precaution, and called police.
A search of the store — including the backpack, which ended up in the lost and found — found nothing suspicious. WXYZ-TV reported it turned out the bag was filled with papers.
The store reopened at around 8:30 p.m.
The man who left the bag is not expected to face any charges.