Texas Police Arrest Suspect for Allegedly Building 'Hoax Bomb' Inside Walmart Bathroom

A man has been arrested after allegedly trying to build a hoax bomb inside a Walmart in Texas, authorities said.

The Austin Police Department said officers responded to a report of a "suspicious device" at the Walmart in the 1000 block of Norwood Park Boulevard in Austin, Texas, on Wednesday evening.

The store was evacuated "out of an abundance of caution," but the incident was later determined to be a hoax, a Walmart spokesperson confirmed to Newsweek.

According to KXAN, a security guard at Walmart had spotted the man holding a PVC pipe in a bathroom inside the store and said he witnessed the man adding something to the pipe.

KVUE reported that the employee alerted authorities around 9.30 p.m. "Loss prevention saw an individual with a PVC pipe adding something to it, which he believed possibly was a pipe bomb," Austin police told the station.

By the time officers arrived at the store, the man had left. But police located him on a bus in the Walmart parking lot. Officers found two PVC pipes underneath a seat on the Capital Metro bus, KXAN reported.

The bus was quickly evacuated because officers believed passengers aboard were in danger. "Based off a comment that was made, they believe that individuals may have been in danger at the time so they immediately detained the subject and evacuated all the people that were on the bus," police told KVUE.

The Austin Police Department's bomb squad was called to the scene, but they found no legitimate devices, according to KXAN.

The station reported the man was taken into custody and charged with making a hoax bomb. No further details about the suspect were released, but police told the station that he may face additional charges in connection with the incident.

A Walmart spokesperson told Newsweek: "Out of an abundance of caution, management made a decision to evacuate our store. We're thankful our customers and associates are safe, and this was determined to be just a hoax.

"We appreciate the quick action and support by local authorities and their thorough investigation. We will continue to assist them however we can."

On Twitter late Wednesday, police urged people to avoid the area as officers continued to work at the scene. The Austin Police Department has been contacted for additional comment.

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Stock photo. A suspect is in custody after allegedly trying to build a 'hoax bomb' inside a Walmart bathroom in Texas. Getty
Texas Police Arrest Suspect for Allegedly Building 'Hoax Bomb' Inside Walmart Bathroom | U.S.