TARZANA (CBS) — A suspicious device was found Wednesday afternoon in a grocery store parking lot in the San Fernando Valley.
The device was found in the back of an SUV parked at a Gelsons on the 5500 block of Reseda Boulevard in Tarzana. Police shut down portions of Reseda and Ventura boulevards, and surrounding businesses were evacuated.
Police initially responded to a report of a man disturbing the peace. When officers arrived they saw what appeared to be explosive devices in the man’s vehicle.
A witness who was evacuated from a nearby business described the confrontation between officers and the suspect.
“It seemed like he was on drugs, saying random stuff to the cops, blurting out stuff,” said Joseph Perez. “He started saying there’s stuff in the car.”
Sergeant Cindy Danzek of the LAPD said the man was cooperating, but “some of the things that he said indicated that this is certainly something we need to take seriously.”
The LAPD bomb squad was called in and a robot was employed to remove suspicious items from the vehicle.
Several hours later, the bomb squad gave the all clear. No bomb or explosive device was found, but many flammable items were discovered. The items included bottles of Sterno fuel, an American flag wrapped in duct tape, steel pads, matchbooks, and wiring.
The 30-year-old suspect is under arrest for possession of flammable materials.
The LAFD arson team is now investigating.