Envelope filled with powder draws bomb squad to La Habra police station

LA HABRA >> A bomb squad responded to the La Habra Police Department on Thursday after a residents brought in an envelope containing an unknown white powder — ultimately determined to be baby powder — that they received in the mail.
The incident began about 2:45 p.m., when two people arrived at the front counter of the police station, 150 N. Euclid Street.
“They indicated they had picked up their mail from their post office box, which is located in the city of La Habra, and returned home,” La Habra police officials said in a written statement. “At approximately 11:30 a.m., they opened the envelope, from an unknown sender, and an unknown white powdery substance spilled out.”
The concerned residents contacted the post office, which, in turn, referred them to the La Habra Police Department.
“Due to the unknown nature of the substance, as a precautionary measure, a containment area encompassing the police department was established and Los Angeles County Fire Department contacted,” according to the statement.
An Orange County Fire Department bomb squad determined about 5 p.m. that the powder in question was, in fact, baby powder.

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UPDATED: Bomb squad destroys ‘suspicious package’ at La Mirada synagogue; found to be inert

LA MIRADA >> A bomb squad responded to a Jewish temple in La Mirada Wednesday after the synagogue received a “suspicious package” in the mail, ultimately finding it contained nothing dangerous, authorities said.
The incident began shortly before 2 p.m. at Temple Beth Ohr, 15721 Rosecrans Ave., at Santa Gertrudes Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said.
The package, received via Priority Mail, was deemed suspicious due to its return address, Sgt. George Suarez said. Further details were not available.
The large box was addressed to the temple in handwriting, Rabbi Mark Goldfarb said.
“But the return address did not have a return address. Instead, in that area, there was a message: ‘Jason, the male child, to rule the world with an iron rod,” Goldfarb said. The statement appeared to be a reference to New Testament end times prophecies in the Book of Revelations.
Other “indecipherable things” were also scrawled on the box, the rabbi said. “That made the package suspicious in our minds.”
The package remained on an exterior porch at the south side of the building as deputies summoned a bomb squad team from the sheriff’s Arson-Explosives Detail to examine the package further, Suarez said.
Bomb squad members shredded the package with a powerful water cannon, sheriff’s and temple officials said.
Inside were found Bibles, coins and a music box, Goldfarb said.
“In the end, it turned out to be someone who tried to send us a gift,” he said. “But again, because of the strange and cryptic messages in the return address, it popped us as a suspicious package in our eyes.”
Deputies evacuated the temple, along with 50 to 60 children at the next-door United Methodist Church school and three to four nearby houses before officials sounded the all-clear, Suarez said. The evacuated students were taken to nearby Eastwood Elementary School, 15730 Pescados Drive.
Both Rosecrans and Santa Gertrudes avenues at their intersection for about two hours.

PHOTO via Keith Durflinger

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UPDATED: Man taken for psychiatric evaluation after Santa Fe Springs bomb threat

SANTA FE SPRINGS >> A man claiming to have a bomb in his car drew a bomb squad to a Santa Fe Springs neighborhood late Saturday, but no explosives were found, authorities said.
The incident began about 8:40 p.m. along Pioneer Boulevard, between Telegraph Road and Florence Avenue, Whittier police Sgt. Ryan Todd said.
“Officers were advised the suspect had entered the parking lot of a business and told passers-by he had a bomb in his car, then drove off,” Officer John Scoggins said in a written statement.
Police quickly found and detained the man driving just down the street and pulled him over, Scoggins said. He was “detained without incident.”
Police shut down Pioneer Boulevard, evacuated nearby homes and summoned a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department bomb squad to investigate the car.
The bomb squad ultimately determined there were no explosives in the vehicle, Todd said.
The detained man was taken for psychiatric evaluation.

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Bomb squad detonates safe found in El Monte library parking lot

EL MONTE >> A bomb squad blew up a safe found abandoned in a library parking lot in El Monte Thursday evening, ultimately finding it to be empty, authorities said.
The incident began about 6:50 p.m. when police received reports of a suspicious object found in the rear parking lot of Norwood Library, 4550 N. Peck Road, El Monte police Lt. Ben Lowry said.
Officers found a reinforced metal safe, about 2-and-a-half feet tall, sitting in the parking lot, the lieutenant said.
Out of an “abundance of caution,” Lowry said officials evacuated about six nearby homes and summoned a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department bomb squad to the scene.
A bank at 9:47 p.m. signaled the bomb squad’s detonation of the safe, Lowey said. “The container was empty.”
Police were still looking into where the safe came from, and whether it had been previously stolen before it was found empty and abandoned.

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UPDATED: ‘Suspicious package’ found in Old Pasadena; bomb squad determines no threat

A bomb squad checked out a pair of duffel bags found in Old Pasadena after they roused suspicions Friday afternoon, but ultimately found they contained nothing dangerous, police said.
The discovery was made shortly after 1 p.m. at Colorado Boulevard and Arroyo Parkway, Pasadena police Lt. Jason Clawson said.
Two duffel bags were found unattended, Lt. John Mercado said. One of them contained bottles, which, in turn, contained small bits of metal. The second duffel bag was secured with a heavy-duty padlock, he said.
Finding the bags suspicious, police evacuated the area and summoned a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department bomb squad to investigate, the lieutenant said.
Using a robot, bomb squad members opened the second bag and found it primarily contained rocks. Nothing explosive or hazardous was inside.
Officials declared the area safe shortly after 3 p.m.
It was unclear how the bags full of unusual items got there.

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El Monte teen accused of making pipe bomb denies charges


LOS ANGELES >> An El Monte teen accused of making a pipe bomb pleaded not guilty Wednesday to three felony charges related to possession of explosives, authorities said.
During an appearance in Los Angeles Superior Court, Andres Velo, 18, denied charges of possession of a destructive device, possession of a destructive device in a home and possession of ingredients to make a destructive device, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Jane Robison said.
He was ordered back to court Oct. 28 for a preliminary hearing, she said. In the meantime, authorities are holding Velo in lieu of $500,000 bail.
Police arrested Velo Saturday afternoon, about three hours after his sister showed up at the El Monte Police Department and reported finding a bomb she said her brother had assembled at a home in the 2800 block of Nevada Avenue, police officials said. She brought the device with her in her car, prompting officials to cordon off the area while a bomb squad detonated the bomb.
Police arrested Velo when he returned home, police added.
No information was available regarding why Velo allegedly made the pipe bomb, or what he may have planned to do with it.
If convicted as charged, Velo faces up seven years and eight months in state prison.

PHOTO of Andres Velo courtesy of the El Monte Police Department.

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Bomb squad called after woman finds 26 grenades, rocket launcher in Alhambra home

ALHAMBRA >> A bomb squad responded to Alhambra Saturday after a woman cleaning out her parents’ home discovered 26 grenades and an anti-tank rocket launcher, which were ultimately found to be inert, officials said.
The incident kicked off about noon at a house in the 200 block of South El Molino Street, Alhambra police Sgt. Richard Aguayo said.
Upon discovering 26 rifle grenades and an anti-tank rocket launcher, “She wisely called the police rather than touch them,” Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
Alhambra firefighters and a sheriff’s bomb squad responded to the scene and evacuated nearby homes as a precaution.
But the incident soon concluded when investigators determined the grenades and rocket launcher were inert practice devices and not dangerous, officials said.
Sheriff’s officials took the devices to be properly disposed of.

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UPDATED: Irwindale fire station evacuated after found mortar shell brought in

IRWINDALE >> Officials evacuated a Los Angeles County fire station after a couple cleaning out a deceased veteran’s home in Covina discovered what appeared to be an 81mm mortar shell and brought it to the Irwindale firehouse Wednesday afternoon, police said.
The incident began just after 2 p.m. at Los Angeles County Fire Department Station 38, 15546 Arrow Highway, Irwindale police Capt. Ty Henshaw said.
A couple was cleaning out the home of a relative and military veteran who had died in Covina when they came across a collection of military items, which included the ordinance, described as a somewhat football-shaped M43A1 mortar shell, the captain said.
Firefighters stored the device in a brick office and summoned a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Bomb Squad to investigate, Henshaw said.
The bomb squad responded and determined the device was inert and contained no explosives, police said. The all-clear was sounded shortly before 4 p.m.
The fire station was evacuated, but no other nearby buildings in the commercial neighborhood were evacuated, Henshaw said.
In general, residents who discover possible explosives are advised to leave them where found and call 9-1-1, rather than transport them to a fire or police station, Henshaw said.

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Discarded toy prop resembling dynamite draws bomb squad to La Canada Flintridge park


LA CANADA FLINTRIDGE >> A bomb squad responded to a La Canada Flintridge Park Sunday before ultimately determining a suspicious object resembling dynamite was a discarded toy prop left behind from a birthday part the day before, officials said.
The incident kicked off about 10:15 a.m. when someone reported finding a bundle of five red cylinders lying on the ground at a small park in a residential neighborhood in the 4900 block of Ocean View Boulevard, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Randy Tuinstra said.
Police notified the Sheriff’s Arson-Explosives Detail of the find, and a bomb squad responded to the scene, the lieutenant said.
As deputies were beginning to evacuate nearby homes, a resident was able to shed some light on the unusual discovery.
He explained that the device was a toy prop that had been left at the park after being used for a “hot potato” game during a birthday party Saturday, Tuinstra said.
Bomb squad members quickly confirmed the device, which was made of PVC pipe, was harmless, Tuinstra said. Officials declared the all-clear about 11:15 a.m.
Though the object was found to pose no threat, Tuinstra said the initial caller did the right thing by reported the suspicious device to authorities, adding that officials would rather err on the side of caution in such situations.

PHOTO – courtesy

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Fake grenade draws bomb squad to Pasadena Goodwill

PASADENA — A bomb squad investigated after workers found what was ultimately determined to be an inert practice grenade inside a box of donated goods at a Pasadena Goodwill distribution center Thursday, police said.
Police were first notified of the suspicious find about 5 p.m. at the business at Fair Oaks Avenue and Del Mar Boulevard, Pasadena police Lt. John Dewar said.
“They were opening up a shipment of boxes,” the lieutenant said. “They found a Grenade in one of them. It appeared to be a real grenade with a pin in it.”
Police evacuated the building and summoned a bomb squad to the scene, Dewar said. Bomb squad members determined the device was a harmless practice grenade, Dewar said.

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