Longview PD evacuates local restaurant after finding suspicious - KiiiTV.com South Texas, Corpus Christi, Coastal Bend

UPDATE: Bomb squad determines device safe

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LONGVIEW, TEXAS (KYTX) Around 8:30 Wednesday morning the IHOP in Longview turned into a crime scene. Someone found a suspicious device inside a newspaper bin outside of the restaurant. Technical Sergeant Bart Matthews with the bomb squad at Barksdale Air Force base in Shreveport was called in.  "I got a call myself from the local sheriff here. He informed me what they had. They had a cordon set up."

Crime scene tape went up, traffic shut down and people were wondering what was going on.  "This happens in other towns but not our town. It's too small," says Tammy Denfield.

"We will set up, talk with people who either found it, saw it, get pictures of it... try to get as much information we can before we go down. We are going to use our robotics to make a remote entry so we can stay away from it as much as we can," says Matthews.

Still, the human touch can't always be replaced. "In this case, it is a coin operated machine so we did have to send someone down there to put quarters in the machine," says Matthews.

Once inside, they found the device was really just the inner workings of the newspaper stand. To the untrained eye, it can look like a bomb.

"Somebody saw it. It has wires and batteries so they made a good call. A good judgement call and nothing wrong with that," says Matthews.

And although this suspicious device turned out not to be a bomb, Sergeant Matthews says the person who alerted police did the right thing. 

 


 

 

 

UPDATE: LONGVIEW (TYLER MORNING TELEGRAPH) - LONGVIEW — The scene of a bomb scare in Longview this morning has been cleared by investigators.

Various agencies were called to defuse an explosive device found this morning in a newspaper rack at a Longview restaurant. A robot was used to access the device.

The suspected bomb was not a bomb at all, according to Air Force Tech Sergeant Bart Matthews of Barksdale AFB. What was seen this morning by a person using the newspaper vending box was actual pieces of the vending machine hanging from the device by wires. It had apparently been left in that condition by someone who had done incomplete maintenance on the Longview News Journal vending box, Matthews said.

Kristi Brian, Longview Police Department spokesperson, said the device was found about 7 a.m. just outside the IHOP restaurant on Loop 281 across from the Longview mall.

"We have evacuated the IHOP and the Luby's right behind the IHOP as we await the team from Barksdale (AFB)," she said.

Ms. Brian did not say how large the device was, but instead said "all we know is that it appears to be an explosive device."

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms officials, as well as FBI investigators, confirmed they are headed to the scene from Tyler.

Additional details will be posted as they become available.


UPDATE: LONGVIEW (KYTX) - Members of the bomb squad have determined the device found at the IHOP in Longview on Loop 281 was not a bomb.

Officials tell CBS 19 that the device found was the inner workings of the newspaper machine that had come apart inside the machine.


UPDATE: LONGVIEW (TYLER MORNING TELEGRAPH) - LONGVIEW — A bomb squad is en route from Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana to diffuse an explosive device found this morning in a newspaper rack at a local restaurant.

Kristi Brian, Longview Police Department spokesperson, said the device was found about 7 a.m. just outside the IHOP restaurant on Loop 281 across from the Longview mall.

"We have evacuated the IHOP and the Luby's right behind the IHOP as we await the team from Barksdale," she said.

Ms. Brian did not say how large the device was, but instead said "all we know is that it appears to be an explosive device."

A Tyler Paper reporter is in en route to the scene and will continue to post additional information as it becomes available.


 

LONGVIEW (KYTX) - Longview Police Department has evacuated the iHop restaurant on Loop 281 after a suspicious device was found inside a newspaper dispenser at the restaurant Wednesday around 7 a.m.

A bomb squad from Barksdale has been called in to investigate.

KYTX CBS 19 will have more updates as they become available.