Dollar General at 7100 W. 79th St. in Burbank was forced to close briefly this afternoon when employees and patrons were evacuated after the store received a bomb threat. An employee of Dollar General said an unidentified caller phoned in the bomb threat saying they had planted a bomb in the store. The phone call was received sometime after 3:00 p.m.
According to the manager of nearby Geo’s Gyros, police instructed her to close down and to keep employees in a back room. The Burger King to the west of Dollar General was closed as well. Police shut down 79th Street in both directions for a short time and traffic was forced to detour down Harlem and Sayre Avenues.
A press release issued Tuesday evening by the Burbank Police Department stated that the Cook County Bomb Squad was called to the scene to assist. It further stated, “A thorough search of the interior and exterior of the building was conducted and it was deemed safe.”
The manager at Geo’s said the first indication that something was amiss was when she observed employees of Dollar General leaving the store and walking away from the building. She said that the manager of the Dollar General store entered Geo’s and informed her that somebody had phoned in a bomb threat. The manager of Geo’s further stated that a Dollar General employee said there had been an altercation with a customer a short time before the bomb threat was received and they believed the two incidents were linked together.
Police reopened 79th Street by 4:00 p.m. and traffic was soon back to normal. At about 4:15 p.m. police began leaving the area after giving the okay for the merchants to resume business.
Police believe the bomb threat to be a hoax. The investigation into identifying the offender continues.
(Story updated at 7:52 p.m. to reflect Burbank Police Department press release info)