Evanston police evacuated Whole Foods, 1640 Chicago Ave., around midday Monday, May 22 after the store received a bomb threat. Police investigated but found no bomb and lifted restrictions at 1:22 p.m. Credit: Joerg Metzner

The Evanston Police Department evacuated Whole Foods, 1640 Chicago Ave., at midday Monday after the store received an anonymous bomb threat in a phone call, EPD said. No bomb was ultimately found.

A police news release said that a Whole Foods employee called police at 11:39 a.m. and reported receiving a phone call “stating a bomb had been placed inside the store.”

Police evacuated customers and employees from the store and closed off surrounding streets. “Heavy police presence on scene as we work to investigate,” EPD said on Twitter at 12:16 p.m. “Avoid the area. Updates to follow.”

The area around Whole Foods, 1640 Chicago Ave., was cordoned off by police around midday Monday, May 22 as police investigated the bomb threat. Credit: Joerg Metzner

An EPD message half an hour later said, “The area around Church [Street] and Chicago Ave remains secure as police continue to investigate. Heavy congestion reported on downtown roadways. Plan an alternate route.”

At 1:14 p.m., Evanston police tweeted that “Cook County Bomb Squad has been assisting with a search of the location.”

A K-9 dog and handler from the Cook County Sheriff’s Department Bomb Squad conducted a sweep of the grocery store and determined the location was “safe,” EPD said in its news release. Police lifted restrictions at 1:22 p.m.

EPD said the investigation would continue. “If you believe you have information about this investigation or the identity of the offender, please contact the Evanston Police Detective Bureau at 847-866-5040, FBI Chicago at 312-421-6700, or Text-A-Tip to CRIMES (274637) and then start your message with EPDTIP.”

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