Hampshire Mall in Hadley evacuated Sunday while contents of truck examined
HADLEY — Moviegoers and shoppers were evacuated from the Hampshire Mall Sunday afternoon after a moving van aroused suspicion because it was parked awkwardly across three spaces in the lot near the Arizona Pizza restaurant.
Officials said the van, a white Ryder truck, “appeared to be abandoned.”
Hadley police arrived at the mall about 1:23 p.m. after receiving a call that a vehicle in the parking lot appeared suspicious.
When efforts to locate the van’s owner proved fruitless, police evacuated the mall and locked all the doors as a safety precaution around 3:40 p.m., according to a statement from Hadley Fire Chief James Kicza.
Hadley police then called for assistance from state police and members of its bomb squad unit, according to Kicza’s statement.
State police deemed the truck’s contents non-threatening, and had it towed.
State police and the Hadley Fire Department offered conflicting information about what was in the truck, and what time the mall reopened for business.
According to a statement released by Kicza, when police entered the truck they found electrical and lighting equipment. The Hadley chief said the mall reopened about 6 p.m.
State police said the truck contained books and that the mall reopened at 5:22 p.m.
The mall’s hours on Sunday are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., with the exception of Cinemark and a few restaurants.
Officials said the evacuation proceeded smoothly.
Reached at Cinemark Sunday, an assistant manager said he could not comment, under Cinemark policy.
A representative of the Hampshire Mall’s security department declined to comment when reached by a reporter Sunday night.