MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Authorities said a portion of eastbound Highway 36 near Oak Park Heights in the east Twin Cities metro had to be closed Tuesday morning after suspicious devices were found in a strip mall.
The Washington County Sheriff’s Office said it received a report of a threat just after 5:30 a.m. on the south side of Highway 36 in the area of a strip mall in Oak Park Heights. Authorities said it’s in the area of a Menard’s and a Kohl’s, and shoppers were not being allowed into the stores. When authorities got to the scene, they discovered as many as four suspicious devices in the area but said none of them was believed to be explosive.
A bomb squad was called in as a precautionary measure and detonated one of the devices to make sure it was not explosive. Authorities got a call at about 4:15 a.m. when a pedestrian in the area heard beeping while walking to a Menard’s. That pedestrian spotted a device, a box with wires coming out of and it wrapped in aluminum foil, beeping. Three other devices were found in a bush nearby, and they were also beeping.
Authorities are investigating them as suspicious packages and will review surveillance video in hopes of identifying a suspect. Highway 36 in the area has been reopened as authorities have determined there is no longer a threat.