TOMS RIVER — The Wawa store and IHOP restaurant on Route 37 both were evacuated on Sunday afternoon after a reported bomb threat, police said.

Earlier in the day, a transformer exploded causing a large power outage in the area.

An unknown male called the Wawa on Rt. 37 East and said that once the lights went back on at IHOP, a bomb would go off. Police responded before 12:30 p.m. to the Wawa and the IHOP across the road on Rt. 37 West.

Both businesses were evacuated and perimeters were set up around their parking lots.

Toms River officer Josh Kulhwein and his K9 partner, Zuul, cleared IHOP, while Ocean County Sheriff's Officer Bernadette Warren and her K9 partner, Finn, cleared Wawa.

Both then were re-opened for business.

Power has since been restored.

Investigation into the phone threat is ongoing, Toms River Police spokeswoman Jillian Messina said.

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