Bomb threat prompts evacuation of Home Depot and surrounding stores

A bomb threat phoned into Home Depot on Route 58 in Riverhead Monday morning prompted an evacuation and a police search with a bomb-sniffing dog. After receiving the threat “with no specifics given,” Home Depot’s managers evacuated the store and contacted Riverhead police.

Police cordoned off the Riverhead Centre mall where the Home Depot is located and evacuated neighboring stores in the shopping complex, which includes ShopRite, Best Buy, Chase bank and Barnes and Noble, among other stores.  

The Suffolk County Police Department’s Emergency Services and K-9 units searched the store. No suspicious activity or bomb making materials were found, Riverhead police said.

The shopping complex was closed for several hours, but reopened to customers shortly after 11 am.

One Home Depot employee described the early morning incident as “out of a movie scene.”

By 11:15 am, the store was full of customers, many of them oblivious to the earlier scare. A manager at Home Depot declined to comment, citing instructions from corporate headquarters.

The federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, a branch of the Department of Homeland Security, offers extensive guidance on what to do if faced with a bomb threat.