Man Arrested in Walmart Bomb Scare

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St. Clair Township police arrested a man they say left a suspicious package at the Walmart on Dresden Avenue in Calcutta, which prompted an evacuation on Tuesday.

Police said they were called to the store around 11:40 a.m. after a “wired-up box or bag” was found in the electronics department.

The building was immediately evacuated and the Youngstown Bomb Squad was called in to remove it. They disabled the device, but would not say if it was an actual bomb. A sweep was done of the store for other devices, but none were found. The store was re-opened by 3 p.m.

Police identified the suspect through surveillance video, and told our news partner, the Lisbon Morning Journal, that he went back to the store about 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and tried to steal a TV. John S. Hester, 53, was charged late Tuesday with inducing panic, a fourth-degree felony. He told police he is homeless, the newspaper reported.

St. Clair Township Police Chief Don Hyatt said Hester could face other charges related to the television theft. A second man was charged in the theft, but he was not identified because he has no connection to the bomb incident, Hyatt said.

Both men will be arraigned Wednesday morning in East Liverpool Municipal Court and are being held at the Columbiana County Jail.

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