After an alleged bomb was found in a Huntington Home Depot this week, authorities are stepping up security in other Home Depot locations, including the Commack stores on Jericho Turnpike and Crooked Hill Road.
According to Suffolk County Police, a 911 call was received at 4:11 p.m. on Monday regarding a letter warning of a suspicious package at a Home Depot store located at 839 New York Avenue, in Huntington Station.
Management at the store made the decision to evacuate approximately 50 people, including employees and customers, at approximately 4:30 p.m. No other stores or nearby homes were evacuated, police said.
The Suffolk County Police Department’s Emergency Services Section responded. A suspicious package was located in the store and rendered safe, police said.
The Suffolk County Police Department has commenced a thorough investigation into the incident. Members of the Suffolk County Police Department's communications section, patrol division, special patrol bureau and detective division "are very aware of the incident that occurred at the Home Depot in Huntington," a release stated. "They stand ready to respond to any call of a suspicious package in an expeditious manner."
The Suffolk County Police Department is also working closely with the security personnel of Home Depot to help ensure public safety, police said.
According to Suffolk County Police Deputy Inspector Kevin Fallon, security at other Home Depot stores, including the Commack locations, will be enhanced after the recent incident.
"We're going to have increased patrol presence around Home Depot stores," Fallon said. "We're also working closely with Home Depot security and will modify our response to to any calls of suspicious packages."
Fallon said the Suffolk County Police department of communications has been alerted that any calls of suspicious packages, especially those related to suspicious packages in Home Depot or similar stores, are to be treated in a priority manner.
"Patrol officers as well as emergency service officers and the detective division are keenly aware of the situation and will respond in a timely manner," Fallon said.
Locally, Home Depot employees are aware of the Huntington incident. A Commack store associate said while the stores were open normal hours but otherwise they were "not at liberty to discuss the ramped up security."
Phone calls made to the Crooked Hill Road location were not immediately returned.
"We are cooperating fully with authorities on their investigation," Jennifer King, senior manager, external communications and social media for the northern division of Home Depot said Tuesday. "The safety of our customers and associates is certainly of the utmost importance to us, so we always work to make sure we have appropriate security for our stores."
On Wednesday, a Home Depot in Elmont in Nassau County was also evacuated after a call from the store was received by Nassau County Police that "suspicious items in a box," had been found, police said.
The items in the box "were not consistent with explosive devices but the investigation is continuing and we are coordinating with Suffolk County and New York City police," Nassau County Police Officer DeLuca said.