A couple from Indiana prompted evacuations and a bomb squad response in Manhattan Beach Friday when they left their luggage at a Chili’s restaurant at the Manhattan Village shopping center and went for a walk.
Staff at the restaurant in the 2600 block of Sepulveda Boulevard called authorities about 12:40 p.m. to report that the couple, a man and woman in their 30s, left their luggage and said they would be back for it, according to Sgt. Tim Zins of the Manhattan Beach Police Department.
When employees told the pair that they needed to take the items with them, the two said it would be fine and left, according to Zins.
Officers arrived and summoned a bomb-sniffing dog from the Redondo Beach Police Department and a sheriff’s bomb squad and evacuated part of the mall and some nearby residences, Zins said.
A patrol officer located the couple nearby and they were returned to the mall, where the luggage was searched and the two were released, according to the sergeant, who said the travelers had just landed at Los Angeles International Airport and made their way to the Chili’s, where a friend was to eventually pick them up.
He said the two spent an inordinate amount of time at the restaurant before going on their walk, which, along with their apparent disregard for their luggage, raised suspicions.
The all-clear was given about 2:30 p.m. and the evacuations ended soon after, Zins said.
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— City News Service
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