SUNSET PARK ‚Äî Local police called in the Los Angeles Police Department Bomb Disposal Unit Sunday night to deal with a grenade and flares found amongst the belongings of a deceased veteran.
The Santa Monica Police Department was called in at 5:10 p.m. on Sunday evening to help with a suspicious box found by a building manager as she cleaned out a garage that had been rented by an elderly gentleman who died recently, said Sgt. Richard Lewis, spokesperson for the SMPD.
“The elderly resident was a veteran and had used the garage to store his personal items as well as souvenirs and memorabilia from his military service,” Lewis said.
That included flares and a “pineapple” grenade, an explosive device with an outer shell that becomes shrapnel when detonated, typical of the World War II or Vietnam eras.
“Once we observed the contents ‚Ä¶ either LAPD or the (Los Angeles Sheriff‚Äôs Department) bomb squads are notified and respond,” Lewis said.
The bomb squad got the call at 7:22 p.m., said Norma Eisenman, a spokesperson for the LAPD.
When they responded, they found an empty grenade with nothing explosive. It was “rendered safe” by 8:50 p.m. Eisenman said.
In the meantime, a small group of residents who lived adjacent to the garage were asked to evacuate for a short time.
The SMPD responds to a couple of calls for grenades and explosive devices each year, Lewis said.
“It was dangerous, but nothing malicious,” he said.