SYLMAR (CBS) — Investigators considered possible hate crime charges after a bomb scare outside a church in Sylmar on Friday.
KNX 1070’s Pete Demetriou reports bomb technicians used explosives to tear open the device and realized it wasn’t a bomb at all.
Police were alerted to the threat after a call from the deacon of the Bible Baptist Church located along the 13700 block of Fenton Avenue indicated that the lights were on in the building and a window was broken.
“What they noticed was a unique-looking device that was laying next to the broken window and it appeared to almost resemble some type of explosive device or a pipe bomb,” said LAPD Mission Division Captain Todd Chamberlain.
Officers then notified the bomb squad, and routed traffic away from the area, which was declared safe by about 9 a.m., the LAPD reported.
Authorities did not say if the item contained explosives, nor did they disclose the package’s contents.
Even thought the church has not been a past target of threats or vandalism, the LAPD Criminal Conspiracy Section and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms are evaluating the incident to see if there are any hate crime overtones involved.
“As far as we know and as far as after talking to the pastor who’s involved with the church, there’s been no issues with it, no external problems, no internal issues or anything else like that,” said Chamberlain.