Police: Suspicious device in Merrionette Park strip mall was fake pipe bomb

MERRIONETTE PARK, Ill. (WLS) -- Police in southwest suburban Merrionette Park said they are looking for at least one person they believe to be responsible for a bomb scare Wednesday night.

A bomb squad was called to a strip mall shortly for a suspicious device outside the Tobacco City store in the 3200-block of West 115th Street.

Police said just after 5:30 p.m. they received a call about a small device that made a beeping noise at the tobacco store. The area was evacuated and the bomb squad detonated the device, which they determined to be a fake pipe bomb.

Sgt. Jon Bruce said one suspect was caught on surveillance video throwing the device into the store. Bruce said the suspect appeared to be young and wore a hoodie.

"Did not saying anything, opened the door, tossed the device into the store and ran eastbound from the scene, and that's where a patron from inside the store picked it up, because it was beeping got scared and threw it outside the store," Bruce said.

Susan Tuxford was working at the H&R Block next door when police told her to get out.

"We're preparing taxes for a client and all of a sudden one of our associates goes, yelling down the thing, 'You got to get out, you got to get out,'" she said.

She said she spoke with the owner immediately after it happened.

"He just said that it was just, something that looked like a Pringles can taped up and that it was making a ticking sound," Tuxford said.

No one was injured. Police said it was unclear why the shop was targeted. The incident remains under investigation.
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