PEABODY - The FBI said there is "no threat to public safety" following a search of a "creepy dolls" shop in Peabody and the owner's home in Salem.
When business owners in the 58 Mills complex in Peabody saw eight or more men in uniform in their hallway on Tuesday, they told WBZ-TV they assumed there was maintenance work being done.
It was only when they saw the labeled jackets they realized the FBI was inside the building.
"I can confirm the FBI was at both locations yesterday conducting law enforcement activity in connection with an ongoing federal investigation," an FBI spokesperson told WBZ Wednesday. "To protect the integrity of the ongoing investigation, we're going to refrain from commenting on its substance. However there is no threat to public safety."
"They were taking things out of the shop and putting them into boxes," a neighbor in the complex said.
According to witnesses, the FBI was searching "Kat's Creepy Creations."
Kat's Creepy Creations describes itself as art that will, "shock the mind and shake the soul."
The shop's Instagram account says it specializes in "creepy dolls, oddities, and bone art," with posts including a real human skull and a case of 11 human vertebrae. The caption of one of the posts says, "If you're in the market for human bones hit me up."
Witnesses told WBZ the FBI agents were at the complex, which houses various different businesses, from morning until late afternoon. They said the agents were lugging what looked like wrapped suitcases and boxes out of the shop.
"I was like OK, what's happening," said Mary, who works on the first floor. "It's kind of weird because it's your place of work so you want to be safe, you want to feel safe."
The FBI was also seen at the shop owner's home on Pleasant Street in Salem digging in the yard Tuesday.
"They set up two tents in the backyard, seemed to be like a lab set up. A pick up truck was here with the back loaded with equipment, forensic-type equipment. They spent eight hours here collecting a large number of boxes. Totes, bags were brought out," a neighbor, who didn't want to be identified told WBZ Wednesday.
"It was a tad unnerving, if you really want to know, especially seeing people in Tyvex suits."
"It's like what is it, is there a body buried? Why the FBI? It doesn't make any sense," said Michelle Peterson of Salem. Peterson lives around the corner from the shop's owner. She says Salem is typically a quiet town.
"It's kind of creepy," said Peterson. "This is a very quiet area. Nothing ever really happens."
The owner of Kat's Creepy Creations told WBZ-TV Wednesday she had no comment.
One of the Mills 58 property owners issued this statement to WBZ:
Per the Head Investigator on this matter, the FBI was granted permission by the business owner to enter their business suite yesterday, and has stated that there is no threat or danger to the property or its tenants whatsoever. This is an isolated incident and is unrelated to the remaining Mills 58 businesses and property ownership.
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