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SouthPark Whole Foods evacuated briefly because of suspicious package

The Whole Foods grocery store on Fairview Road was evacuated Sunday afternoon. ADAM JENNINGS - adamjennings@charlotteobserver.com
The Whole Foods grocery store on Fairview Road was evacuated Sunday afternoon. ADAM JENNINGS - adamjennings@charlotteobserver.com ADAM JENNINGS - adamjennings@cha

The Whole Foods Market in the SouthPark area was evacuated Sunday afternoon because of a suspicious package.

A customer who was in the Fairview Road store reported that Father’s Day shoppers were cleared out around 2:30 p.m. Many had to leave their groceries and cars behind.

Some 50-60 people were waiting on the sidewalk, and traffic quickly slowed down on nearby streets.

“The traffic was like gridlock,” one passerby reported.

A customer contacted police about a suspicious package in the store. That led to the evacuation, according to a statement store manager Tony Sgro sent to the Observer by email Sunday afternoon.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police determined the item posed no threat and gave the OK for shoppers to come back inside, a CMPD spokesman said.

The store, which specializes in natural and organic products, was open again by about 3 p.m. No injuries were reported.

“Everybody was safe. ... And we’ve opened back up,” said Sgro.

Karen Sullivan: 704-358-5532, @Sullivan_kms

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