The Sheriff’s Department bomb squad dismantled an explosive device on Wednesday that had been left overnight in a parking structure near a commercial office building.
“If it had exploded, it would have caused extensive damage to the parking structure and to nearby vehicles,” Newport Beach Police Lt. Tim Newman said. “It could have been fatal to anyone nearby.”
The device, concealed in a briefcase, was reported to police about 9 a.m. by a passer-by who said it looked suspicious.
“It had a little toggle switch on it and an indicator light like you would find on an appliance,” Newman said.
The bomb squad went to the garage, at 4400 MacArthur Blvd. next to a Sanwa Bank California, and sent in a mechanical robot to the bottom floor of the two-story structure to examine the device.
Photographs and X-rays were taken before demolition experts worked for several hours to defuse the explosive. Although police did not evacuate the nearby office building, officials at Sanwa reportedly evacuated their workers as a precaution.
Some people who work in the office building told investigators that they had seen the briefcase in the parking structure about 10 p.m. Tuesday night.
The commotion piqued the interest of many of the nearby office workers. Jeff Miller, an employee of Barton, Klugman & Oetting Law Offices said people in his office weren’t too scared because authorities had informed them that if the device did explode, it probably would not harm the office building. “These things are just scare tactics,” Miller said.
Police on Wednesday were baffled as to who may have left the bomb.
“We don’t know who placed it there or why,” Newman said.