PALMDALE – Five homes in a west Palmdale neighborhood were evacuated, and a street was blocked off Friday morning as authorities investigated a suspicious package found in a man’s yard.
The incident began around 9:30 a.m. in the 41100 Block of Rimfield Drive, authorities said
“A homeowner stepped outside and he saw what appeared to be an old suitcase on his yard,” said Palmdale Community Relations Deputy Robbie Royster. “He thought it was kind of suspicious, and he didn’t want to touch it or anything, so he did the right thing and dialed 9-1-1.”
Royster said units from the Palmdale Station responded and saw an “interesting looking suitcase that was awkwardly placed.”
“As a precautionary measure, and as part of our policy, we evacuated five homes around the informants’, and we had the fire department come out and stand by in case the device exploded,” Royster said. “We notified our arson/explosives team.”
The arson/explosives unit used a robot to examine package, while authorities monitored from a safe distance, Royster said.
“The robot has three different cameras mounted on it, and the detective can actually operate the robot from inside the truck using video screens,” he said.
In the end, the package turned out to be a very old, antique massage table that folds into a suitcase.
Once the threat was cleared, displaced residents were allowed back into their homes around 12 p.m.
Royster said the homeowner was right to contact authorities.
“This was a great job by the homeowner in calling 9-1-1 and letting the authorities handle it instead of doing it himself,” Royster said. “We take these types of calls very seriously and we don’t cut corners because of the probability of losing life or serious injury… Luckily it ended on a positive note, and that’s how we always want things to go.”