Harmless: Suspicious Devices in Waterford Lakes Not a Threat
April 23, 2013 | WMFE - Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said Tuesday afternoon that four suspicious devices found near the Waterford Lakes Shopping Center have been ruled harmless. The area on Alafaya Trail near State Road 408 returned to business as usual after a morning of evacuations, road closures and a massive law enforcement response.
[Image: Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings speaks to the media at Waterford Lakes Shopping Center during the investigation into four reported suspicious devices]
Demings described two of the devices as a backpack full of tools and a cylinder-shape piece of metal with wires. He said none of the four were any threat to the public, and they were not connected in any way.
Earlier Tuesday, the Orange County Sheriff's Office Mobile Investigation Unit was on the scene, surrounded by patrol cars and deputies during the four-hour investigation. Orange County's bomb squad was sweeping the area with a robot and bomb-sniffing dogs. Orange County Fire Rescue responders were also assisting.
About twenty stores were evacuated in and around the Waterford Lakes Shopping Center during the investigation, as well as a nearby daycare center. The center's sixty children were shepherded into the Waterford Lakes Regal Cinema to wait for their parents.
The first suspicious device was reported just after 8:00 Tuesday morning at Victoria Place Apartments, a community close to Waterford Lakes. Subsequent calls to Orange County Sheriff's Office reported additional devices behind the Best Buy in Waterford Lakes, beneath a car in the shopping center’s parking lot, and near the daycare center.
At about noon, the Orange County bomb squad detonated the first two devices and rendered them safe. About an hour later, all four devices were officially deemed harmless. All evacuations were lifted and roadways were re-opened.