Police arrest Florida man for explosive scare in West Ashley

WEST ASHLEY, SC (WCSC) - The Charleston Police Department has arrested a 39-year-old Jacksonville, Fla. man accused of robbing a West Ashley pharmacy and telling police that he had left an explosive device at a nearby parking lot.

Authorities charged Matthew Shannon Bailey with armed robbery, possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime and possession of a hoax device or replica of a destruction device.

The Charleston Police Explosives Team say they were on the scene of the robbery in West Ashley after Bailey dropped a suspicious package at a nearby parking lot following a robbery at Rite Aid.

According to police, officers followed Bailey as he left the pharmacy and when they went to arrest him at a nearby dentist office's parking lot, Bailey dropped the package at the parking lot and told authorities it was a bomb.

The Charleston Police Department then shut down traffic in the area of Highway 171 and 61 for several hours.

A Charleston Police Explosives Team robot disrupted the suspicious package left in the parking lot just before 4 p.m. Witnesses at the scene could hear a small "pop." No one was injured.

The bomb squad has swept the area several times. A member of the bomb squad dressed in a bomb suit and a K-9 unit swept the area.

Police have not said what the suspicious package was.

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