The man who left the suspicious package in Hastings said Merry Christmas as he did it, according to on-lookers.
The town centre has been cordoned off after a suspicious package was reported in McDonald’s today (Friday, December 11).
Everyone in the nearby shops and cafes were told to leave and get to a safe distance.
A friend of Craig Brookes worked in McDonalds and they said a man walked in with a large bin bag and put it on the counter then left.
Another on-looker, Anne-marie Stretten, said she had heard that the man said ‘Merry Christmas’ before leaving.
Caffe Nero employee Tonya Miller said: “I was in the middle of my lunch break when they evacuated us.
“I’ve never seen anything like this in Hastings.”
Ms Miller also said that she had heard that there was a laptop in the bag.
The Oxfam shop opposite McDonalds reopened today after refurbishment works and duty manager Davyna Christian-Grant said all the drama has ruined their big day.
“We’re very frustrated as people have got their house and car keys in the shop and we don’t know when we’re going to be able to go back,” she said.
“I was getting coffees from Costa Coffee and before we had ordered we were told to leave the area and stay well away.
“We had a great morning and were extremely busy but it’s sort of ruined now.
“I’ve spoken to people who had come just to see the new shop too so it’s really frustrating.”
Sports Direct workers had taken refuge in Yates’ who provided free hot drinks and a place to sit for them.
“The Carlisle pub gave us half price drinks and opened early for us too,” Sports Direct duty manager Jason Scott said.
“As a community everyone’s come together which is fantastic.”
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