Homes evacuated after suspicious suitcase found

The sheriff’s arson/explosives unit used a robot to examine the suspicious package. Photo by LUIS MEZA.

The suitcase was found by a homeowner in the 41100 Block of Rimfield Drive in Palmdale. Photo by LUIS MEZA.

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.”

Five homes in the area were evacuated around 10:30 a.m. Displaced residents returned to their homes around 12 p.m. Photo by LUIS MEZA.

“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.

It was found to be an antique massage table that folds into a suitcase. Photo by LUIS MEZA.

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.”

  5 comments for “Homes evacuated after suspicious suitcase found

  1. QHResident
    July 30, 2012 at 8:24 am

    A serious overreaction.

    • really
      July 30, 2012 at 11:23 am

      Maybe, maybe not. Who called it in? Did the resident report having problems with somebody that could make a harmless article seem like a valid threat? If the cops didnt show up what would the public say? If a deputy without proper training opened it and it did explode then what? I would much rather have police be overly cautious and utilize all resources than have a citizen or deputy hurt. Besides what does it really matter that they handled it this way. Some poor residents couldnt get into their home for an hour or two, go see a movie and when you get back thank the deputies for looking out for your best interests!

  2. sacryinshame
    July 30, 2012 at 12:02 am

    Interesting the police would go to all that trouble, when a woman and I walking found a nasty smelly package with blood pooled around it on 25th West, we couldn’t even get the police to come take a look at it. (Lancaster)

  3. Elijah Fried Chicken
    July 27, 2012 at 9:40 pm

    Gee I wonder who put it there. Im pretty sure it wasnt Jamal and Avery from the hood. Certainly this is above their level.

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