Police are trying to determine who placed something designed to look like a pipe bomb near a Walmart store in Johnson City.

The suspicious item was discovered in the parking lot of the store on Gannett Drive around 3 p.m. Monday.

The Walmart store on Gannett Drive in Johnson City. (Photo: Bob Joseph)

Village police chief Brent Dodge said the device was found by a store employee. The item was about 200 feet from the Walmart building.

Dodge said it was a "reasonable facsimile" of a pipe bomb but it turned out to contain no explosives.

About one-third of the store parking lot was closed for more than an hour until a robot from the Endicott Police Department bomb squad was used to remove the device.

Dodge was at the scene of the incident, along with four village police officers and several detectives. Three members of the Endicott unit and a Broome County Sheriff's Office deputy with a trained bomb detection dog also responded.

Investigators don't know how long the device was in the parking lot before it was reported. Dodge said it probably had been there for less than 24 hours.

Some Walmart shoppers were unable to get to their cars until after the item was hauled away by the bomb squad.

Dodge said people with information about the incident may contact Johnson City police detectives at 607.798.9318 extension 232.

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