Suspicious briefcase leads to bomb scare

Robot determines package harmless
May. 12, 2014 @ 01:36 PM

Thomasville Police Department spent Monday morning investigating a suspicious package in the parking lot at the corner of National Highway and Julian Avenue.
Three hours after a customer at the Cruz-In Diner expressed concern over a briefcase near the rear of his vehicle, a robot from the Winston-Sale Police Department showed the package was harmless.
TPD received a call at 8:39 a.m. from the diner's owner regarding the briefcase and immediately evacuated the establishment and other surrounding businesses. The briefcase was located between two vehicles and next to the left rear tire of a Honda belonging to Tony Watts, a guest columnist for the High Point Enterprise. A robotic bomb detector arrived a short time later and found the briefcase contained nothing but papers inside.  
“The subject came out of the diner after eating breakfast and found a briefcase next to his car that looked funny and had wires wrapped around it,” Chief Jeff Insley said. “He was concerned and notified us. After an initial look, we were concerned too. We backed off and evacuated the area. We sent out the robot, looked at it, nothing. Thank goodness.”
TPD cordoned off the area and blocked traffic surrounding the intersection of National Highway and Julian Avenue until about 12 p.m.
“I actually thought it went by kind of quick,” said Insley. “We're very appreciative of [Winston-Salem Police Department] getting here so quick. Everything went smooth.”
Evacuating the diner and surrounding businesses is standard procedure for any suspicious packages. Insley said a suspect has not been identified and detectives are interviewing witnesses to determine if any charges should be filed once the owner of the briefcase is located. 

Staff Writer Eliot Duke can be reached at 888-3578, or duke@tvilletimes.com.