City News Service

Man Detained After Bomb Scare is Released

Police concluded the empty pipe left on a U-Haul truck was intended to carry drugs, not to be an explosive

The discovery of a device attached to the bumper of a parked moving truck brought the bomb squad and triggered evacuations, before authorities determined the rubberized plastic tube was not an explosive, but likely some kind of carrying case for someone's personal stash of drugs, Pasadena Police said Tuesday.

Concern arose after a worker at the Pasadena U-Haul yard on Raymond Ave. at California Blvd. discovered the suspicious object Monday evening.  Held onto the bumper with wire and magnets it looked as if it possibly could be an explosive, said Lt. Jason Clawson.

Police checked records to determine who had returned the rental truck to the yard, which led them to the apartment of a Glendale man, Teddy Bancarz, 34.  During a search of the apartment, police located a similar device containing meth and paraphernalia, Clawson said.

Bancarz told police he had  "inadvertently" left the device attached to the truck, said Clawson.

At home after he was cited for misdemeanor drug possession and released, Bancarz told NBC4 neither the drugs nor devices were his, but from another person.

Bancarz lives with his mother, who said they are in the process of moving to another apartment.  The U-Haul truck was rented for the move.

After the device was reported, the area within a half-mile radius was evacuted as a precaution, according to Lisa Derderian, a Pasadena city spokesperson. 

Vehicle and pedestrian traffic was blocked on Del Mar Boulevard to the north, California Boulevard to the south, Pasadena Avenue to the west and Marengo Avenue to the east, Derderian said.

The nearby offices of radio station KPCC and the LAist website, in the 400 block of South Raymond Avenue, were evacuated.

Late evening, the device was "rendered safe" by detonation, which revealed it did not contain any explosives, and evacuees were allowed to return.

Police expressed concern for the inconvenience, but said precautions were demanded by the potential risk.

"Out of an abundance of caution we took appropriate measures to make sure public safety remained a top priority," said Pasadena Policy Chief John E. Perez.

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