An Englishman blamed for false alarm at CC Atlantico

Panic and confusion this weekend in one of the most popular southern shopping centres after a false alarm led to hundreds of shoppers being asked to leave calmly and quietly.

Guardia Civil and the Local Police, in the south eastern area of Santa Lucia de Tirajana, had to evacuate more than 2,000 shoppers from the CC Atlántico Shopping Centre in Vecindario on Saturday afternoon due to a “suspicious” suitcase that had been left abandoned in the first floor toilets, by a 43-year-old Englishman, when suspicions were raised that it could be an explosive device. Agents quickly confirmed however that it was a false alarm. There was only food in the suitcase.

The events began between 1800 and 1840 when one of the security guards informed security forces that there was a suspicious package on the premises. In the first instance, authorities evacuated about 2,000 people who were inside the commercial complex, according to municipal sources. Members of the Armed Forces Explosive Deactivation Team (Edex) came to the scene to check the suitcase.

After a few minutes, the guards confirmed that it had been a false alarm. The doors to the centre remained closed throughout the operation, while managers waited for the facts to be clarified. Owners of vehicles parked in the underground car park were not able to remove them. At about eight o’clock, the area was declared safe. Members of the Guardia Civil from Vecindario and agents of the Policia Local of Santa Lucía, along with members of other armed units were assigned from nearby municipalities to help ensure the security of the surroundings.

An investigation to try to locate the owner of the bag resulted in an English national, aged 43 and resident on Gran Canaria, having been identified as the presumed author of a public disorder crime.

It is not the first time that the centre has found itself in circumstances such as these. In February 2016, part of the premises had to be evacuated following the suspicions of a security agent who saw a citizen of North African characteristics leave two suitcases unattended in the commercial establishment.

Source:  La Provincia 

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