AZUSA – A sheriff’s bomb squad was called Friday after a briefcase was discovered near St. Francis of Rome Catholic school and drew authorities’ suspicions, but was ultimately found to be harmless.
The incident began at 1:49 p.m. in the 700 block of Pasadena Avenue when a school employee saw the briefcase on the east sidewalk, just west of the school, Azusa police Lt. Paul Dennis said. Police considered the newer-looking briefcase suspicious, as there was no known reason for it to be there.
The briefcase was near a sign in front of the school, though not on campus, he said.
A bomb squad from the Los Angeles Count Sheriff’s Department was summoned to the scene to take a closer look, Dennis said.
Children at the school were let out at the usual release time of 2 p.m. on the west side of the campus, opposite Pasadena Avenue, the lieutenant said. Residents along Pasadena Avenue were advised to stay indoors.
Bomb squad members used a robot to inspect and open the briefcase, Dennis said. It was found to contain only a small teddy bear.
PICO RIVERA — A report of a suspicious package prompted the evacuation of a bus terminal Thursday before officials determined the box was empty, authorities said.
Someone reported seeing a brown cardboard box that seemed out of place behind a building at a Montebello Bus Lines terminal at Passons Boulevard and Jackson Street about noon, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said.
The package was described as a plain-looking carboard box, about 18 inches by 12 inches in size, sheriff’s Sgt. Marco Soto said.
Officials evacuated the terminal and were beginning evacuations of nearby homes when deputies from the Sheriff’s Arson-Explosives Detail used a robot to determine the box was empty, the sergeant said.
The all-clear was sounded about 1:30 p.m.
COVINA — About 11 businesses were evacuated and part of College Street was shut down Wednesday after a man found what looked like a grenade inside a parcel.
It turned out to be a replica grenade, Covina Police Sgt. Jim McDonough said.
The incident started about 4 p.m.
A man picked up his packages at the post office in the 100 block of East College, walked to where he parked his car and opened a package, McDonough said.
“He sees what looks like a wrapped grenade,” the sergeant said.
The man called police. Officers evacuated nearby businesses plus closed down College Street between 2nd Avenue and Citrus Avenue.
The sheriff’s bomb squad examined the device and deemed it inert. McDonough said the replica grenade was from a surplus-type company.
The man didn’t recall ordering the item, McDonough said.
- Ruby Gonzales
WHITTIER — A bomb squad responded to a Whittier neighborhood Friday after several grenades, which were ultimately found to be inert, were discovered in a garage, police said.
A real estate agent and homeowner were cleaning out a garage in the 8800 block of La Entrada Avenue shortly after 11:20 a.m. when they discovered the grenades, Whittier police Lt. Mike Przybyl said. They were described as having the appearance of “pineapple-shaped” grenades used during the World War II and Vietnam eras.
Nearby homes were evacuated as a bomb squad from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Arson-Explosives Detail was called in to investigate, Przybyl said.
Officials ultimately determined the grenades were inert and posed no danger, the lieutenant said.
The neighborhood resumed to normal by about 1 p.m., he added.
COVINA – Bomb squad officials responded to a Covina shopping center Sunday after a woman detained for shoplifting inside a Walmart store claimed to have a suitcase containing a bomb, authorities said.
Officials blasted the suitcase with a high-pressure stream of water and ultimately discovered it contained only clothing, Covina police Sgt. Ray Marquez said.
The incident unfolded about 2 p.m. at a shopping center in the 1200 block of Azusa Avenue, the sergeant said.
Walmart security guards detained a woman for shoplifting and called the police, Marquez said.
When officers arrived, the woman threatened that there was a suitcase outside the store, “and it had explosives in it.”
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Arson-Explosives Detail responded to the scene and determined the suitcase posed no threat.
The name of the woman was not available as she was being taken for psychiatric treatment, Marquez said. She was described as a transient appearing to be in her mid-40s.
Officials cordoned off the area as the bomb squad carried out their work, he said, and southbound Azusa Avenue was shut down in the area for about 20 minutes.
SAN DIMAS — Several businesses were evacuated after a grenade was found in the parking lot of a commercial center Friday night.
Deputies said the sheriff’s Arson/Explosives Detail, which is the bomb squad, rendered the device safe and also determined it was a replica grenade.
The San Dimas station received a call at 7:23 p.m. of a hand grenade lying in the parking lot near a pizza parlor in the 500 block of West Arrow Highway, according to Lt. Diana Gealta.
She said businesses were evacuated and the bomb squad notified.
- Ruby Gonzales
ALHAMBRA — A suitcase found on the side of the road Wednesday led authorities to block off Garfield Avenue and shut down the Garfield Avenue offramp to the 10 Freeway for a little over an hour.
Alhambra Police Sgt. Edward Rodriguez said the sheriff’s bomb squad X-rayed the suitcase and found it was empty.
Police got a call shortly after 5 p.m. about a suspicious package on Garfield Avenue.
Rodriguez said Alhambra firefighters were driving by, saw the suitcase and reported it to police.
Police notified the sheriff’s bomb squad.
- Ruby Gonzales
ARCADIA — Sheriff’s bomb squad members responded to an Arcadia mall Thursday and detonated a suspicious package, which was found to contain marijuana.
Security guards at the Westfield Santa Anita mall called police shortly before 10 a.m. to report a package sitting in a parking lot on the north side of the mall, near J.C. Penney, Arcadia police Sgt. Dan Crowther said.
Police cordoned off the area and called in a bomb squad from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, who detonated the package and determined it was not explosive, Crowther said.
But it did contain a brick of marijuana which the sergeant estimated amounted to more than a pound.
The package was initially described as a box with another package inside of it wrapped in tape.
No suspects were identified Thursday afternoon, Crowther said, however the investigation was ongoing and detectives were following leads.
AZUSA — Bomb squad officials examined a suspicious box abandoned on an Azusa sidewalk late Tuesday, ultimately determining it contained only food, officials said.
Someone called police about 9:20 p.m. to report a 2-foot by 2-foot box, wrapped in plastic, that had been left on a sidewalk near Azusa Avenue and San Gabriel Canyon Road, Azusa police Sgt. John Madaloni said in a written statement.
The package could not be readily identified, and no one claimed it, the sergeant said.
“Taking no unnecessary risks in handling the package, officers summoned the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Arson Explosive Detail,” he said.
“They were able to safely inspect the package and deemed it safe for handling after discovering only harmless food items inside.”
The area was cordoned off for about 90 minutes during the investigation, police said.