HOT SPRINGS, Ark.—A report of armed men near an Arkansas elementary school led to a campus lockdown before police confirmed the three were actually pest control employees chasing squirrels.
A teacher at Gardner STEM Magnet School in Hot Springs saw the men about 8 a.m. yesterday and notified administrators.
According to a statement from the Hot Springs Police Department, the teacher said it looked like three men carrying rifles were running toward the school.
Officers determined the men, who were carrying pellet guns, were employees of a pest control company hired to eradicate squirrels at a neighbouring apartment complex.
Police say the employees fired a shot at a squirrel, missed and chased the squirrel onto school property.
A school employee said the lockdown was lifted after about an hour.
Italian olives painted with copper sulphate solution, Sudanese sugar tainted with fertilizer, and hundreds of thousands of litres (gallons) of bogus alcoholic drinks top Interpol’s annual tally of toxic and counterfeit food seized by police agencies across the world.
A statement yesterday by Interpol said that a record 10,000 tonnes (roughly 11,000 U.S. tons) has been recovered across 57 countries.
Although some busts have been previously reported, the haul of bogus diet supplements, adulterated honey and formalin-drenched chicken guts makes for stomach-churning reading.
European law-enforcement agency Europol, which co-ordinated the seizures along with Interpol over the past three months, says counterfeit food is “a multi-billion criminal industry which can pose serious potential health risks to unsuspecting customers.”