Officers investigate bomb threat in Lee County

Suspicious device found in Lee County turns out to be commercial hoax

LEESBURG — Law enforcement officials are investigating a bomb threat that turned out to be what authorities described as a hoax.

Chief Deputy Lewis Harris with the Lee County Sheriff’s Office said officers responded to a report of a suspicious device at the Goodwill center on Philema Road South at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday. The Lee County Fire Department, Lee County EMS and the Lee County Sheriff’s Office were among those who were called in to respond to the scene along with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s bomb squad.

“They (the GBI bomb squad) activated a safe device,” Harris said. “There was a minor explosion. They rendered the device safe.”

Harris said the GBI described it as a commercial hoax. It appeared to be a bomb but was not.

“The lady at the Goodwill was going through collected inventory (when she came across the device). It was five sticks labeled as dynamite taped together with a timer,” the chief deputy said. “She calls her supervisor, who told her to call 911. She did the right thing.”

The adjacent Mike’s Country Store was evacuated along with the Goodwill center and the individuals in both facilities were taken a safe distance away while the device was evaluated. There were no injuries stemming from the incident, Harris said.

Officials are still investigating the incident and tracking down leads. Possession of such a device is a felony, which means charges could be pending depending on how the investigation plays out, Harris said.