Bomb threat prompted brief closure of Natchez stores

Published 2:03 pm Friday, December 15, 2023

NATCHEZ — Shoppers were forced to abruptly end their holiday shopping and evacuate the Cash Saver and adjacent Dirt Cheap and Beauty Town stores in Natchez when someone called Cash Saver and said a bomb was inside.

Both stores, the nearby Regions Bank and the adjoining parking lot at 261 Devereux Drive closed to the public for about an hour and a half due to the threat.

“One of the managers answered the phone. A person called in saying it’s a bomb inside the store,” said Natchez Police Department Commander Jerry Ford shortly after the stores opened again around 1 p.m. Friday. “So they immediately called us and we came over and evacuated the store.”

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Mississippi Highway Patrol brought in bomb-detecting K9s to check to make sure the store was clear before it reopened, Ford said.

“They came, checked the store and around the perimeter and made sure everything was safe,” he said.

When asked if the call could be traced, “We’re working on that,” Ford said.

A lot of shoppers were upset when police came in and told them they had to leave, he added.

“The seriousness of a threat like that is you never know when it’s true or not. We have to take all threats as though it could be real. Anytime a person says ‘bomb’ that’s (potential) mass destruction and it could end up costing several people their lives or serious injuries. So we have to take that seriously.”

Neifa Hardy, Adams County Emergency Management Liaison Officer said all stores in the vicinity are back open now.

“All the stores are back open now, the parking lot is open and people are free to finish their holiday shopping,” she said.