Nassau County Police cordoned off the Waldbaum’s shopping center on Merrick Road in Merrick on Saturday, around 5 p.m., after a suspicious suitcase was left unattended in the middle of the parking lot amid shopping carts and cars. At press time, it was unclear how police were notified of the suitcase. As seen from a distance with a telephoto lens, the suitcase appeared to be a large carry-on with a pullout handle.
It was the second time in two days that a shopping center in the Bellmore-Merrick area was closed because of a suspicious suitcase. On Friday, police cordoned off the King Kullen shopping center on Sunrise Highway in Bellmore. In each case, police cleared the parking lot of cars and people.
In both incidents, the Nassau County bomb squad was called in, arriving in a large, black armored vehicle. On Friday, police did not find a bomb, according to knowledgeable sources. On Saturday, it was unclear at press time, 6:30 p.m., what was inside the suitcase at Waldbaum’s, but police determined that it was not a bomb. A police officer at the scene said it would be at least a couple of hours before the shopping center reopened for business. Authorities did not offer further details.