Evanston police say they see no indication that a small explosion in a women’s restroom in the Target store in Evanston Wednesday is related to protests over the company’s transgender bathroom policy.

Police Cmdr. Joseph Dugan says a 44-year-old woman has been taken into custody as a “person of interest” in the case, but that the investigation continues and no charges have been filed.

Dugan says detectives are not looking for any additional suspects at this time.

The small explosion happened shortly after 4 p.m. at the store in the 2200 block of Howard Street Damage was confined to a stall inside the bathroom.

The county bomb squad was called to he scene, and Dugan says it appears that the explosion was caused by a plastic bottle left in the stall.

He says no threats or other suspicious activity has occurred at the store before or since the incident.

The blast occured the same day that Target CEO Brian Cornell took questions from disgruntled shareholders at the company’s annual meeting. The company has decided to permit customers to access restrooms and fitting rooms based on their own gender identity rather than the gender they were assigned to at birth.

A boycott effort organized against Target as a result of the policy has reportedly not had much impact on the chain’s sales.

Anyone with information about the incident at the Evanston Target is asked to contact the Evanston Police Department detective division at (847) 866-5040 or use Text-A-Tip anonymously by texting the information to CRIMES (274637) and entering EPDTIP in the message line with the tip information.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. I don’t know if these are bad
    I don’t know if these are bad numbers, but an average of a 13 % drop in same store earnings does not sound good to me. This is on top of the other Target missteps in the last 1 1/2 years.

    While I do not know the extent of the damage, it sounds like this could border on a fine line between prank and domestic terrorism. I am confident that the Evanston police will sort this out.

    1. Real sales figures not made up ones…

      May 18 2016 – Sales at existing stores rose 1.2% in the quarter ended April 30, short of Target’s 1.5% to 2.5% annual target. Target warned the metric would be flat to down 2% in the current quarter. A decline would be a first for Target since Mr. Cornell took over as CEO in 2014.

      Target joins a growing list of retailers reporting a disappointing start to the year. Last week soft results from department stores like Macy’s Inc. and Nordstrom Inc. illustrated shoppers’ shift away from brick-and-mortar stores and sparked declines across the retail sector. That pressure was renewed Wednesday and shares in Wal-Mart Stores Inc. fell 2.2%. Wal-Mart is slated to report quarterly results Thursday morning. 

      OK so we see no drop of 13% which would be massive. Target has seen good growth in its slaes and profits over the past several years; and all retauilers are expecting some down trend. That is reality not hype. And since Nordstrum and WalMart are seeing similar shifts, it doesn't have anything to do with bathrooms…

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