FORT MYERS, Fla. -- A suspicious package in Lee County shut down a busy shopping center for several hours on Thursday evening. The Southwest Florida Regional Bomb Squad was called to the scene of the Chase Bank at State Road 82 and Lee Boulevard in Fort Myers just after 6 p.m.
The Fort Myers Police Department and the Lee County Sheriff's Office worked hand in hand with the Southwest Florida Regional Bomb Squad to blow up a backpack that was found behind the Chase Bank at the ATM on Lee Blvd. The call came in at 6:05 p.m. after the bank manager found the backpack leaning up against the building near the ATM.
Officers arrived, emptied the bank, blocked off Lee Blvd and State Road 82 and called in the bomb squad. Officers found wires, fuses, a remote control and that was enough to raise their suspicion.
Bomb squad members used a robot to safely blow up the backpack and found nothing hazardous inside. Officers say taking precautions like this comes down to being more safe than sorry.
"You don't want to take a chance. We can come up with suspicious backpacks that are left abandoned ten times and that one time you open it you just don't know what you have," said Sgt. Ramy Moussa, Fort Myers Police Department.
The shopping plaza where the bank is located was cleared shortly before 10:30 p.m.