Roads reopened after Anchorage police, FBI investigate suspicious vehicle at Midtown Mall

Anchorage police are asking the public to avoid the Midtown Mall as they investigate reports of...
Anchorage police are asking the public to avoid the Midtown Mall as they investigate reports of a suspicious vehicle.(KTUU)
Published: Jan. 11, 2021 at 11:57 AM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - All roads have reopened after Anchorage police asked the public to avoid the Midtown Mall as they investigated reports of a suspicious vehicle Monday. An update from police Monday evening stated that nothing suspicious was found.

Police sent out an alert around 11:30 a.m. Monday informing the community of the police activity. By 5:05 p.m., police said that while the perimeter was being broken down, the suspicious vehicle remains in the parking lot and that area of the parking lot is closed.

The FBI was on the scene and was assisted by the Anchorage Police Department.

All lanes around the Midtown Mall were closed including Northern Lights Boulevard and Benson Boulevard between Latouche Street and Denali Street. The New Seward Highway was closed down in all directions between 36th Avenue and Fireweed Street.

“Expect the road closures to last for several hours,” APD said in a community alert. “This includes the major roadways listed below along with the smaller connecting side streets. Access to surrounding business parking lots has also been blocked off to include Fred Meyer, Walgreens, Qdoba, Subway, and others in that immediate area.”

Though authorities haven’t confirmed that a bomb threat investigation is underway, it appears that a bomb squad was on the scene.

“Today’s law enforcement activity was in response to reports of an individual who had made threats against federal buildings in the area. A threat assessment was conducted on the individual’s vehicle which has now been rendered safe and determined to be a nonthreat,” Chloe Martin with the FBI said.

Monday afternoon, marketing director for the mall, Amber Musso, said that she heard mall tenants were told about a potential explosive in a vehicle in the parking lot, though the vehicle was on the Seward Highway side of the lot and the mall “was far enough away from any potential blast radius.”

Portions of the mall were then closed. While the mall was never told to evacuate, several stores sent their employees home after closing early, Musso said.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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