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Bomb threat count within normal range

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  • Honolulu police blocked off a road near the Kapolei Walmart after a suspicious package was found in the parking lot. (Kim Yuen/kyuen@staradvertiser.com)

Honolulu police bomb specialists are not seeing an increase in the number of incidents involving suspicious devices or unattended property in recent weeks, although there have been several high-profile cases since the April 15 bombings in Boston, the head of the HPD bomb unit said Friday.

Maj. Alexander Ahlo, commander of HPD’s Specialized Services Division, reiterated that his staff takes all such threats seriously, and he urged the public to be vigilant in the wake of the Boston tragedy.

"Making a threat or leaving a device, real or a hoax, with the intent to disrupt normal activity or to create fear or panic is something that we take very seriously," Ahlo said. "We will fully investigate all these cases, and individuals will be subject to arrest."

Since April 25, bomb specialists have responded to four incidents involving suspicious objects or packages: April 25 at Circuit Court, April 26 at Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center and Thursday at Kahuku District Park and the Kapo­lei Walmart.

All four resulted in building evacuations. Two prompted road closures that resulted in major traffic disruption.

Police have made an arrest in the Royal Hawaiian incident; all four cases are still under investigation, Ahlo said.

In a fifth case a suspicious package was identified at the Queen Kapiolani Hotel on Monday night, shutting down Kapa­hulu Avenue for a short time. Specialized Services did not respond to that incident, Ahlo said.

But Ahlo said "there really hasn’t been any change" in the activity being undertaken by bomb technicians."This is the normal number we respond to," he said.

People are encouraged to be vigilant and to call 911 when they see anything or anyone suspicious, Ahlo said.

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