Saturday, June 15, 2024

Largo man arrested after false report of a bomb at the Clearwater Costco store

Officers from the Clearwater Police Department responded to the Costco Warehouse after reports of a bomb threat. The incident began at approximately 1:30 p.m. on Friday, February 17, 2023, at 2655 Gulf to Bay Boulevard.

Detectives say that a suspicious package was found inside the store. According to the arrest affidavit, the subject placed a white package in an aisle that said “biological treat.” “Please, please move calmly towards the exits,” ” Explosive Device” “There is a bomb inside Costco, call the police.”

Shoppers and employees were evacuated from the store for several hours.

Police K-9 personnel and crews from the Pinellas County Hazardous Materials Response Team, Clearwater Fire & Rescue, and other surrounding agencies responded to the scene. No evidence of any real threat was found, police say.

On the evening of Friday, February 17, 2023, detectives arrested 31-year-old Donnovan Jester of Largo and charged him with a false report of a bomb. He was booked into the Pinellas County Jail. He also faces violation of parole charges from prior charges of aggravated battery on a pregnant female and grand theft of a vessel.

Jester was observed on camera placing the item in the store. He was with a female who was later identified as his mother by information obtained from the checkout using her membership card.

Jester was later located in a homeless camp in Largo. During the arrest, Jester was wearing the same clothing as seen in the video. According to arrest documents, the officer stated that Jester did not make sense and only advised that the picture they had of him was “bad.”

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