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False alarm

At about 9:15 a.m. on Dec. 3, I was entering the parking lot of Mountain View Plaza in Central Point. As I approached the parking spaces in front of the Blockbuster video store, I was waved away by a police officer holding a gun in his hand. I turned to leave the parking lot and observed another officer, with gun drawn, standing behind a concrete block wall.

I saw nothing on the local news broadcasts about any incident, nor anything in the next morning's Mail Tribune. Do you know anything concerning this police action?

— John B., Central Point

What you found yourself in the middle of that day, John, was a bona fide false alarm, according to Central Point Lt. Chuck Newell.

Apparently, an employee at the Blockbuster accidentally tripped the robbery alarm.

Central Point officers responded, thinking the place was in the midst of a hold-up.

"It happens every so often that someone sets off a robbery alarm," Newell said. "We respond each time as if there is an actual crime being committed."

The officers were just doing their job by shooing you away, John. They wouldn't want any bystanders putting themselves in harm's way if some crazed gunman decided to storm the Blockbuster looking to steal the last copy of "High School Musical."

Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by e-mail to youasked@mailtribune.com. We're sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.