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.
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.
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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.
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