Suspicious package leads to evacuation of Premium Outlets in Cypress

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by Malini Basu / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on March 17, 2014 at 6:59 AM

Updated Monday, Mar 17 at 7:10 AM

CYPRESS, Texas -- A false alarm had hundreds of shoppers panicked Sunday night.

An employee called 911 after seeing a suspicious package sitting by a bench outside The Houston Premium Outlets, according to Harris County Precinct 4 Constable’s Office.

The outlets are located in the 29300 block of Highway 290 near Fairfield.

"Somebody told us there was a mysterious package outside, like under the front, in front of the Aeropostle, and we had to come out," said Ashley Colchaeo, a customer who was evacuated.

“They just told us that we needed to evacuate and get all the customers out. We've been outside for a while," said Paris Risher, an employee.

Deputies said an employee saw the package sitting there for about 30 minutes before calling 911. Initially, the Pct. 4 deputies examined the package with their K-9 units, which kept alerting them to the presence of explosives. That is when the HCSO bomb squad was called to the scene.

After about two hours, bomb squad officials said it was a brief case in a shopping bag.

"Supposedly, there was a package sitting in front of them and they just got up and left it there," said Risher.

Ahmed Aboumansour grabbed his daughter and walked to a place where they felt safe.

"Someone said to me there is a bomb there and they won't allow us to go to our car," said Ahmed Aboumansour, a panicked customer.

After many customers stood in the cold for several hours, the all-clear was given and everyone was allowed to return to their cars.

The Cy-Fair Fire Department also was on the scene to assist with the possible threat.

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