The West Long Branch Police and other local agencies investigated a bomb threat the Consumer Centre complex in the borough on Sunday afternoon.
At approximately 11:30 a.m., one of the stores in the Consumer Centre complex at 310 Highway 36 received a phone call indicating that there was a bomb in the store, West Long Branch Police Chief Lawrence Mihlon said.
"As a precaution while the investigation of the claim began, the surrounding stores and some homes behind the complex were evacuated," Mihlon said.
Bomb dogs responded from the New Jersey State Police, Monmouth County Sheriff's Office and Wall Township Police to check the building and additional assistance was provided by the Oceanport Police and Long Branch Police Departments as well as the Long Branch Fire Marshal's Office.
Mihlon said staff and patrons were allowed to reenter the store about 2 and a half hours later once it was determined that the buildings were safe.
The incident is currently under investigation by the West Long Branch Police Department's Detective Bureau.