A suspicious object that authorities initially feared was an explosive device attached to the bottom of a U-Haul truck in Pasadena on Monday was actually an apparatus to hide drugs, police said Tuesday.
Pasadena police received a call around 6 p.m. about a suspicious package attached to a truck parked on the street in the 500 block of South Raymond Avenue. Authorities evacuated nearby businesses, including public radio station KPCC-FM (89.3) and the website LAist.com, for several hours while they investigated the object.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s bomb squad and federal authorities assisted with the investigation.
Authorities determined the cylindrical device, which measured between 6 and 8 inches long, was not an explosive about 9 p.m.
The police probe led authorities late Monday to the Glendale home of Theodore Bancarz, 34, who was the last person to rent the truck. Officials determined the object found on the truck was an empty plastic container affixed with magnets to the vehicle that Bancarz used to hide drugs, Lt. Jason Clawson said.
“Bancarz denied the device was hazardous, telling investigators it was commonly utilized to secret his drugs and paraphernalia outside of a vehicle by way of magnets when he was in transit,” Clawson said. “A search of the suspect’s residence revealed a similar container that enclosed drugs and paraphernalia.”
Police arrested Bancarz on two outstanding misdemeanor drug warrants. He was released from custody with a citation and ordered to appear in court early next year, Clawson said.