What police are describing as a “very general in nature” bomb threat note was left on a car is what initiated the evacuation of Orchard Park Shopping Centre on Thursday evening as a precautionary measure.
A police dog was brought in to search the mall but nothing was found.
More than 30 uniformed and plainclothes officers from the Kelowna RCMP detachment and surrounding area were tasked with evacuating and subsequently clearing the Orchard Park Mall after a bomb threat note was reported to police shortly after 5:30 p.m.
“Nothing suspicious was located and the premises were deemed safe at around 1 a.m. Friday morning,” said a police new release this morning.
“Considering the time and resources that it took to clear and search a building of this size, the investigation remains in its infancy.”
On Thursday night, Kelowna RCMP Cpl. Bil Parmer, one of the first responding police officers to the scene, said no specific store was targeted by the bomb threat.
“I received the call from our dispatch and responded to the scene but I am not aware at this point how the threat was originally made,” Parmar told the media gathered outside the shopping centre.
He said the police were meticulously carrying out a search of every store in the mall with the assistance of bomb sniffing dogs, a process he admitted could take some time to complete, with keyholders for each store asked to remain at the scene for the time being.
“Safety of the public and the police is most paramount,” Parmar said. “”Additional resources have been called in to help us.”
Parmar did dispel initial reports that police officers were running through the mall with guns drawn, saying that report was erroneous.
Nobody has been injured, and Parmar had praise for both shoppers and the mall management and security staff for carrying out the evacuation shortly after 5:30 p.m. in a calm and orderly fashion.