Bomb scare shuts down City Hall

City Hall Shut DownCity Hall EvacuatedLANCASTER – Lancaster City Hall was shut down and evacuated around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday after two suspicious suitcases were discovered.

“There was one inside and one outside,” said Deputy Kuper, of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Lancaster Station. “A citizen discovered the suitcases and they were unclaimed.”

Patrol cars blocked off Fern Avenue between Kildare and Kettering as deputies waited for the arson and explosives unit to assess the threat. Many residents hoping to attend the City Council meeting at 5 p.m. were turned away.

Two offending suitcasesAround 6 p.m. the “all clear” was given, as deputies reportedly determined that there was no bomb. The two offending suitcases could be seen in front of City Hall strewn apart. The contents appeared to be clothing only.

City Manager Mark Bozigian announced that the City Council Meeting was rescheduled to 8 p.m. Tuesday.

UPDATE 9/14/11: Deputies reportedly tracked the suitcases to a woman who’d visited city hall to see someone, then left the suitcases with a note that she intended to return. The woman was not charged.